Stranded mariners saved after writing ‘SOS’ in the sand

Photo shows two mariners who were stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia.

Photo shows two mariners who were stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia.

By Farida Fawzy

CNN

(CNN) — Two stranded mariners were rescued after a US Navy aircraft crew spotted three vital letters etched into the sand while flying over a deserted beach in Micronesia: “SOS.”

The US Navy alerted a Guam search and rescue team identifying the uninhabited location, the Coast Guard in Guam said in a statement Friday.

The survivors, who were marooned for eight days with “limited supplies and no emergency equipment on board,” were picked up Friday and transferred to Nomwin atoll, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard received a report about an 18-foot vessel with two people aboard missing since August 19. The ship left Weno Island two days earlier en route to Tamatam Island — but the castaway pair never made it.

In seven days, the aircraft and boat patrol teams searched a total of 16,571 square miles before rescuing the boaters, who have yet to be identified, the Coast Guard said.