1. Five fortunate snorkellers were rescued off the coast of Queensland, Australia, after etching a large SOS sign in a sandbank in the middle of the sea.
2. The snorkellers were stranded on a nearby set of rocks after the anchor broke on the boat they left near the sand. The group’s attempts at retrieving the boat – which held their food, water and, crucially, mobile phones – were futile.
3. A rescue helicopter found the group huddled in a nearby set of rocks just before nightfall after spotting the message in the sand. The rescue committee was first alerted after another group spotted the vacant boat floating without any passengers.
“Just as we got over to the rocks one of the boat co-owners … turned back and could see that the boat had shifted,” one of the passengers, Lyn Forbes-Smith, told The Courier-Mail.
“We knew the sandbar would go under but we were fairly confident that the tide wouldn’t have taken over the rocks,” Forbes-Smith said.
The group is said to be safe and in good spirits, with reports suggesting they are only “a bit burnt”.