Cruise ship saves 3 men stranded on life raft in daring rescue

Three men stranded on a life raft in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the French territory of New Caledonia were rescued by a cruise ship that responded to a distress call.

The men — two Australians and one Briton — had been sailing in a yacht and were forced to abandon ship Thursday after the vessel started taking on water.

Sailor Ben Johnson told The Australian newspaper that a thick rope drifting in the ocean damaged the engine of the yacht and ripped a hole in the hull of the boat.

“It was just panic stations,” Johnson said. “We had manual pumps, bilge pumps going non-stop.”

Johnson said he quickly contacted everyone he could get a hold of by phone and finally got his wife on the line who contacted officials in New Caledonia, who alerted the cruise ship.

The men ultimately were saved by the Pacific Dawn cruise ship, which is operated by P&O Cruises Australia after it received a rescue request from marine authorities, the company said.

“Captain Alan Dockeray and his fantastic crew honored the first law of the sea by going to the aid of other seafarers in peril on the ocean,” P&O Cruises Australia said in a social media post.

With Post wires

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