A pair of stranded mariners received a happy ending thanks to a scrawled “SOS” message in the sand.

A week after getting marooned on an uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean, the couple was spotted by a U.S. Navy aircrew and rescued successfully. That’s good, as things might have gotten ugly otherwise:

The boaters were marooned on an island in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia, on Aug. 19 with limited supplies and no emergency equipment on board, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

The couple departed Weno Island on Aug. 17 to make their way to Tamatam Island where they were expected to arrive the following day, the Coast Guard said. When their 18-foot vessel didn’t show a notification was sent to the U.S. Coast Guard in Guam.

The Coast Guard said it requested help form a U.S. Navy P-8 aircraft crew after light signals were spotted from a nearby island on Wednesday.

I guess this is why you draw the giant SOS in the sand, just like Bear Grylls always suggested. Though frankly, wouldn’t you want to cover the beach in “SOS” outlines? Why would you just do one? In any case, it’s obviously great they were rescued. Good for the Navy, too, because any ocean search and rescue is the ultimate needle and haystack scenario.

And, obligatory:

[NBC News]

About Ben Sieck

Ben is a recent graduate of Butler University where he served as Managing Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Butler Collegian. He currently resides in Indianapolis.