Five people have been rescued in Blue Mud Bay shortly before they made a last ditch effort to sail home.
NT Police said the group of three men and two young people had departed on Sunday morning to hunt turtle at Woodah Island on the East Arnhem coast.
They did not return as expected and a Yirralka Ranger raised the alarm on Monday morning.
Officers from Gapuwiyak commenced a marine search and found the party camped on Woodah Island.
The group were safe and well but their boat had broken down on Sunday and they had camped on the beach.
The group had run out of fresh water and had built a makeshift sail with the plan to sail home before police arrived.
Senior Sergeant Michael Milde said the groups efforts were impressive but the correct emergency equipment should have been onboard the boat.
"While we appreciate the innovative efforts of the party to create makeshift sail to get home, it can't do the job of an emergency beacon," he said.
"It is very important that all boaters ensure they have the correct safety gear, especially going into the Wet season when conditions can change suddenly."
Police towed the party back to the mainland where the community met them with food and water.
The boat's skipper was cautioned about having the right safety equipment.
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