Pacific

'SOS' message in sand leads to rescue of stranded boaters

Aug. 25, 2016: A pair of stranded mariners signal for help as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft crew from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 flies over in support of a Coast Guard search and rescue mission on an uninhabited island in Micronesia.

Aug. 25, 2016: A pair of stranded mariners signal for help as a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft crew from Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 flies over in support of a Coast Guard search and rescue mission on an uninhabited island in Micronesia.  (U.S. Navy via AP)

Two boaters were rescued from an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean Friday after crews spotted the letters "SOS" written in the sand.

The couple were reported missing Aug. 19, according to a U.S. Navy statement. The two had departed Weno Island in Micronesia two days earlier and had been due to arrive on Tamatam Island on Aug. 18. 

According to the Navy, the boaters had "limited supplies and no emergency equipment on board" the 18-foot vessel.

On Wednesday, a ship noticed flashing lights from the uninhabited Chuuk State island where the two were later found. The next day, a Navy aircraft crew spotted the pair on the beach and gave their location to the Coast Guard in Guam.

The mariners were finally picked up by a Coast Guard patrol boat Friday. There was no immediate word on their identity or condition.

In all, the Coast Guard and other agencies searched nearly 17,000 square miles for the couple.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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