Inhabitants of Kanton Island, part of Kiribati, were assisted by a British yachtsman who anchored near the island and discovered that they had run out of supplies.

According to the Guardian (, Alex Bond and three crew members had anchored off Kanton Island on their way from Hawaii to Australia when they discovered that the 14 adults and 10 children who live there were surviving on just fish and coconuts as their delivery of supplies was three months late and that a boat would not arrive for another five weeks.

According to the report, Bond then contacted coastguards in Britain who relayed the message to the US coastguard and authorities in Honolulu.

"We were greeted by the islanders who were in a right state. It was the kids who were really bad. They have trouble growing what they need because of problems with the soil and were in desperate need of fruit, veg, rice, sugar and flour."

He added, "We gave them what we could from the yacht and radioed home to get them more help. They were extremely glad to see us and we've stayed on to help co-ordinate the food delivery. We're not leaving until I know they are OK. They are wonderful people."

The island's nearest neighbour is an uninhabited island, Enderbury, also part of Kiribati.