Prepared to spend the cold night huddled together atop a tiny rocky island, five stranded Australian snorkelers were rescued by a helicopter Monday evening.
The five became stranded after their boat became unanchored and drifted off near Wigton Island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, local news outlets report.
Their phones and all of their supplies were on the boat.
“We had reef walkers on thankfully, but we had no food, water, cream, no hats, not much at all,” Lyn Forbes-Smith, one of the stranded, told Australia’s The Courier-Mail. “We just looked for the highest ground, we looked for rocks where five of us could huddle together because we didn’t really want to separate, and we wanted to be out of the wind as best as possible.”
The quick-thinking adventurers wrote a massive SOS message on a sandbar, reports note. After a fisherman spotted their empty boat drifting at sea and contacted authorities, a rescue helicopter spotted the message and airlifted the group -- which had been stranded for nearly 9 hours -- to safety.
The group seemed to be ecstatic they didn't have to spend a chilly night at sea.
"We saw the helicopter and we thought 'oh, you beauty' and then it disappeared and we thought, 'Oh no, we better look out for our beds for the night.' Then it came back probably 20 minutes later," Craig Gilbert told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the outlet, the group was slightly dehydrated and sunburnt, but no injuries were reported.
USA Today previously featured a list of tips for surviving time stranded on a deserted island. The utmost important: immediately finding a source of freshwater or a way to collect rainwater.