The story of Gemma Sheridan, a woman from Liverpool, who was claimed to be trapped on a desert island for seven years before a Google Earth image helped to find her, has been busted as hoax.

However, Gemma Sheridan is for real.

The 26-year-old become an internet sensation after a "news" posted on the website, claimed that Sheridan left Liverpool, England, in 2007 with two friends to sail to Hawaii, but a storm in the Panama Canal damaged their boat and killed her friends while Sheridan drifted for 17 days before waking up on an island.

Adding on, the story claimed that Sheridan was stranded for seven years on the island, where she wrote an S.O.S. sign in the sand, which was eventually noticed by a boy using Google Earth, which lead to her rescue.

The article was declared a hoax by the conspiracy theory and rumour-debunking website Waffles at Noon.

The website also reported that the Google Earth image of the deserted island with "SOS" sign is a 2010 satellite photo from Kyrgyzstan. The picture appears in a story on Amnesty International's blog.

Sheridan told the Liverpool Echo newspaper that her friends made up the story on her as a joke.

"The people behind the website are just good friends with a strange sense of humour and busy brains," she said. "They posted the story and then messaged me saying they were going to make me famous. I thought the story was a good one and it made me laugh."

Sheridan said that she "can't kill a spider nevermind smash a goats head in," referring to one of the survival techniques stated in the fake story.

"I thought it would get a few likes but didn't expect this," she continued. "A surprising amount of people thought it was real. I feel bad disappointing people but it's just laugh."