An injured surfer stranded on an isolated beach was taken to safety after his message of ‘HELP’ was spotted in the sand by a passerby.
In a scene straight out of Castaway, a surfer wrote a plea for help in the sand at Mercer Bay in New Zealand’s North Island then collapsed.
The man was surfing on Wednesday at Karekare Beach when he lost his board in the waves and was dashed against nearby rocks, The New Zealand Herald reported.
He tried to walk along the bush trails to reach a more populated area but was unable to get anywhere in two hours because of his injuries.
A woman was walking in the bush and looked down to find the massive ‘HELP’ sign written in the sand.
After calling for help, the local surf life saving club came to the rescue.
Lifesavers rushed over to the scene on a jet ski and deployed first aid to the surfer upon arrival.
The man’s wife had reported him missing at 5pm after he hadn’t returned home.
He was transported to hospital and his family were informed.
“The message in the sand is not visible from the walking tracks at the northern end of Mercer Bay, so it was very lucky the informant and her friend were at the southern end and able to see it,” Surf Life Saving search and rescue supervisor John-Michael Swannix told The New Zealand Herald.
“With Auckland in alert level 3, not as many people are out and about at the moment so it’s also lucky someone was walking the track at that time.”