Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island drew a giant SOS message in the sand to attract the attention of rescuers, who found them three days after they went missing at sea.
Australian and United States aircraft located the men on tiny Pikelot island, about 200km west of where they had set off in a 7m skiff before veering off course and running out of fuel.
"I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfil our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are," the Australian navy's Captain Terry Morrison said in a Defence Department statement.
Capt Morrison commands the HMAS Canberra, which sent a helicopter to the rescue after officials in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm, following the sailors' failure to complete a 42km trip between Pacific atolls.
The helicopter landed on the island on Sunday after its crew spotted the sailors' appeal for help, close to their makeshift shelter. The crew checked on the condition of the men and gave them food and water.
A Micronesian patrol vessel is headed to the island to pick up the men, the statement added. Pikelot is a low coral islet with forest and scrub, and is home to a seabird rookery and turtle nesting site.