Castaways rescued after joining hands to make SOS sign on island

A group of castaways on an uninhabited Pacific island have been rescued by US coastguards after joining hands to create one big SOS sign.

The six children and nine adults were spotted by US coastguard helicopters after being stuck on an uninhabited island in the Federated States of Micronesia for three days.

The Coast Guard and Navy began searching for the boat on Wednesday after transportation officials in the Micronesian state of Chuuk told the Coast Guard in Guam that the 28-foot skiff was overdue.

After an 18,000 square mile search, the Coast Guard received a report that the boat had been spotted overturned.

According to CNN, the boat's hull was damaged by the coral reef, and they dragged what remained onto the beach to wait for help.

The group, ranging from four to 59-years-old, were eventually found on the island's shore in good condition, although they'd been stuck with nothing more than a solar-powered radio.

They had been on a trip from Chuuk to Ruo Island on an outing for the children before the boat ran into trouble.

Thought you knew the best islands Europe had to offer? Forget Majorca and Corfu, discover these secret gems, instead:

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Castaways rescued after joining hands to make SOS sign on island

You may be surprised to hear that Germany has its own islands - and some spectacular ones too! Sylt is the largest in the North Sea and is Germany's answer to America's Hamptons. The island offers 25 miles of fine sandy beaches with strankorbs (typical German beach chairs) scattered along the coastline and although it's a popular destination with Germans, it remains undiscovered by British tourists. Sylt's landscape also consists of flowering heaths and dramatic cliffs. Around the island you'll find the Kampen Lighthouse, 200 different eateries, plenty of sports and activities for younger visitors and 120 miles of cycle paths. The nightlife is exciting too with many bars, clubs and beach parties to enjoy.

This pretty island that lies 110km east of Rhodes is the perfect place for a peaceful and relaxing break in Greece. The main town unfolds around the natural harbour and its unique architecture and colourful houses provide a picturesque setting. Kastelorizo has its own cluster of islets and a wealth of marine life to discover in the clear blue seas and if you're a keen snorkeler you may even spot a monk seal. Around the island you'll find cafes, tavernas and shops. The medieval castle and archaeological and folklore museums are several attractions you'll want to visit when you tire of the beach. As tourism is yet to develop you'll only find a selection of hotels - a good place to experience true Greek island life.

Inis Meain is the least visited of Ireland's three Aran Islands and offers an authentic escape from the modern world, where you can immerse yourself in traditional Irish culture. You'll find a hilly landscape with clear views of the magnificent Cliffs of Moher and some great diving spots. The island is made up of a patchwork quilt of small fields separated by Aran-style hand-built stone walls and there's a spectacular white sand beach, which surprisingly doesn't get many visitors. At night, head to the island's traditional Irish pub where you can enjoy live music and meet the locals. Don't miss the puffing holes which are at the top of the cliffs and create sprays of water when the seas are rough.

With quaint seaside hamlets, rocky coastlines and green countryside, Brittany's largest island Belle Ile is, as its name suggests, one of France's most beautiful islands. Artists like Claude Monet and Matisse were so impressed by its beauty that the island was the subject of their paintings. Visit Bangor for its impressive lighthouses, Sauzon to see the colourful houses and Locmaria to escape from it all. The Vauban Citadel is one attraction you won't want to miss for its iconic star shape and to explore the mysterious cellars, underground passages and dungeons that fill it. Côte Sauvage is another must-visit where you can see the jagged rocks and sea caves that inspired Impressionist painters.

The unique island of Ven in southern Sweden not only offers glorious views of the Skane region and Denmark, but also has a beautiful coastline with bright blue seas, white sand and flat countryside. You can rent yellow bikes to tour Ven, which is just two kilometres wide and 4.5 kilometres long. The island is located in the Öresund strait and some of its top attractions include the tiny white medieval church of St. Ibb, one of the world's best stocked whisky bars and a museum for the astronomer Tycho Brahe.

Just off the coast of Puglia lies the beautiful and rugged Tremiti archipelago. San Domino is one of its two inhabited islands and boasts dozens of spectacular coves, impressive underwater caves and coral reefs for divers to explore. Cala delle Arene is one of the island's picturesque coves that offer a secluded feel and a boat trip to the other islands, like San Nicola is a must. Foodies will love the seafood that's caught off the island and nature lovers can explore the unspoiled beauty and scenic routes of San Domino.

Visit the magnificent island of Skomer off the Pembrokeshire coast where you can discover its rich seabird population including the Atlantic puffins, which are one of its biggest attractions. Skomer makes for a unique island experience whether you're staying or just visiting for the day, with its wealth of wildlife including the Skomer vole, which you won't find anywhere else. Book accommodation on the island well in advance, especially if you want to see the Atlantic Grey Seals in autumn. In the summer you can see the spectacular display of flowers, like bluebells that cover the fields.

They look like islands of the Caribbean but are in fact part of the idyllic Cies archipelago in Galicia, Spain. The archipelago is made up of three main islands - Monteagudo, Monte Faro and San Martiño. Monte Faro and Monteagudo are linked by the Rodas beach, which was named the most beautiful beach in the world by The Guardian in 2007. The undiscovered islands were once a pirates' haunt and are now mainly frequented by Spaniards in the summer who enjoy the crystal clear sea, great camping facilities and rough mountain surroundings.

The main island of the Aland archipelago is a fishing paradise where you can try your hand at catching pike, perch and salmon. It's very cycle friendly so is great for getting around by bike and the best way to explore the small villages. Stay at a cottage where you can be close to the island's nature with beautiful forests as a backdrop. You'll find beaches around the island too, and kayaking and hiking are just some of the fun activities the whole family will love.

Halfway to Italy in the Adriatic Sea lies the isolated Croatian island of Lastovo, which is served by just one daily ferry service from Split. Its seclusion has protected it from pirates and the island was declared a nature park in 2006. Charming bays, some of best fish in the Adriatic and an old medieval town are just a few of its beautiful features. The tourists that do discover Lastovo are given a warm welcome and are treated to the true delights of Croatia - think fine wine, seafood and getting around on rented mopeds.

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