A giant SOS message, scrawled on a sandbar, has led to the rescue of five young people left stranded after their boat drifted away in Queensland.

Five people stranded on a rocky outcrop in Queensland have been rescued after scrawling a giant SOS message on a nearby sandbar.

The group had gone ashore on Monday morning but their vessel broke anchor while they were exploring and drifted away.

The three men and two women did they only thing they could to raise the alarm, using their muscle power to dig out a huge SOS on a sandbar.

The group was in luck, with an air and sea search already under way after their 6.1 metre vessel was found abandoned and adrift between Brampton and Cockermouth islands, off Mackay.

Tony Miller, piloting the RACQ rescue chopper tasked with finding the vessel’s occupants, soon spotted the SOS message and the stranded group.

All were winched to safety in good health.