Couple rescued from a desert island after a week thanks to their SOS sign

Doug Williams
 U.S. Navy
U.S. Navy

They were real life castaways. We have all read books and seen the programs on survival and what to do if you were shipwrecked with no Bear Grylls or Doug Ritter in sight.

Many survival tips and tricks are so universally applicable that one must always keep them in mind as one day these small actions could save many lives. A couple who became stranded on an island  with very little provisions were rescued after their desperate SOS message written on sand was spotted by a rescue plane.

Linus and Sabina Jack who are both in their 50’s were believed to be on an ambitious sailing trip around the Pacific Islands in Micronesia when they lost contact with the outside world and were officially announced as missing. The elderly couple had to survive on an island for a whole week before they were rescued, they were living in a makeshift shelter that they had built out of leaves and driftwood.

The Jacks were scheduled to report on the Island of Tam-tam during their trip, and when they failed to do so the authorities were duly informed, and an elaborate search operation was launched to find the couple who had set out on an 18ft boat.

 U.S. Navy
U.S. Navy

Despite the rigorous search by the personnel of Micronesia’s maritime authority in collaboration with the coast guards, no trace of the elderly couple was found for a whole week.

Soon after the authorities started considering abandoning the search or shifting their focus on other possible routes the couple might have adopted, a British ship reported to have witnessed a light signal coming from the island. This effectively rekindled the search and rescue planes were dispatched to look for any signs of jacks on the island, Evening Standard reported.

The rescue plane flew low and circled over the uninhabited island of Fayu Atoll and quickly spotted the couple and rescued them to safety. The couple’s safety was purely down to their present-mindedness, they had drawn a large SOS on the sandy beach of the island that alerted the pilot and rescue team who then went to recover the stranded couple.

The first ship that was sent to rescue the Jacks could not get too close to the shore due to very shallow waters. Later two more ships were sent to pick up the couple from the shores who were frantically waving at them and were overjoyed to have seen rescuers.

US Embassy’s spokesperson in Kolonia told the reporters that the rescue operation had been a great success and that the couple is now safely back home and have recovered from their ordeal.


fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival