It had police scratching their heads—and wondering if they should be searching for missing persons: an SOS message spotted by helicopter in a part of Western Australia so remote the nearest city of note is more than 600 miles away. Now police may have their answer, thanks in no small part to the BBC. It reports that a man identified only as John read its initial coverage of the mystery and called police, telling them his brother Robert and a female became stranded at the location of the rocks—Swift Bay—in 2013. Unable to operate their yacht out of the bay, John says they dramatically weathered a crocodile attack while en route to shore in an escape raft; upon landing there, he says they constructed the SOS from rocks.
The story ended, John says, with the pair being picked up by another yacht, and police are "very confident" that story is "legitimate and it's the real deal," Senior Sgt. Dave Rudd with the Western Australia Police tells the BBC. The West Australian reports police have thus far communicated with Robert, who is currently sailing in the Mediterranean, only via email, with Rudd offering this: "He said after three days they saw a plane flying overhead and realized the SOS sign couldn’t be seen from the air." But Rudd says police have seen photos taken from the time of the pair's alleged stranding, and "we can see from the photo that it's the same location and the same SOS." (An SOS led to this desert-island rescue.)