Fifteen Rescued From a Remote Pacific Island By Making a Human SOS Sign
by Owen James Burke
(CNN) — On a small uninhabited island that’s but a small dot on the Pacific, 15 marooned people joined hands to form a giant “SOS” on the beach. Washed up in a deserted paradise, all the castaways could do was to hope that someone would spot them.
After searching over 18,000 miles in a matter of 76 hours, the coast guard finally spotted the castaways and has sent personnel to check up on them.
The 15 people–6 children and 9 adults between the ages of 4 and 59–had been missing since Tuesday, when they left the Micronesian Island of Chuuk for Ruo Island on an outing for the children. Their 28-foot boat struck a reef and was overturned. They dragged the boat ashore and managed some makeshift shelters, while their only connection to civilization was a solar-powered radio. The above aerial photo taken by the U.S. Navy shows 5 other boats near the island (known as Fanano), along with many people ashore who are believed to be residents of nearby islands.
The U.S. Coast Guard is reporting that they “think they’re very safe,” but there’s still one question that remains: do they want to be rescued?