A group of people stranded on a tiny island off the north Queensland near Mackay drew a giant SOS on the sand, hoping someone would spot it.
The five people had left their boat at anchor and gone ashore. When they came back about 8.30 am on Monday, the boat had broken anchor and drifted away.
More than five hours later, a 6.1 metre boat was found adrift between Brampton and Cockermouth Island with nobody on-board.
Queensland Water Police contacted RACQ CQ Rescue to search waters between Brampton and Cockermouth Islands and find a 70-year-old man believed to be on the boat.
The search area was widened to Wigton Island, further to the East of Cockermouth.
On the rescue helicopter’s second pass over the waters, rescue pilot Tony Miller spotted people on a rocky outcrop and an ‘SOS’ (Save Our Souls) message written in the sand of a nearby sandbar.
The five were winched to safety by the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter and taken to Mackay in good health.
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