3 men rescued from Pacific island after writing SOS in sand

Three men have been rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS in the sand that was spotted from above

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Three men have been rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS sign in the sand that was spotted from above, authorities say.

The men had apparently set out from Pulawat atoll in a 7-meter (23-foot) boat on July 30 and had intended to travel about 43 kilometers (27 miles) to Pulap atoll when they sailed off course and ran out of fuel, the department said.

The men were found about 190 kilometers (118 miles) from where they had set out.

“I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfill our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are in the world," said the Canberra’s commanding officer, Capt. Terry Morrison, in a statement.

SOS is an internationally recognized distress signal that originates from Morse code.