Three rescued from shark-bitten inflatable catamaran off Australia after setting sail from Vanuatu

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SYDNEY: Three men were plucked to safety on Wednesday (Sep 6) after sharks started tearing chunks from their inflatable catamaran as they attempted to sail to Australia from Vanuatu – a distance of more than 2,000km.

The men – two Russians and a French citizen – were picked up by a cargo ship while floating in the shark-filled Coral Sea.

“Both hulls of the vessel have been damaged following several shark attacks,” the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said in a statement.

The authority said the trio had planned to sail from the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu to the city of Cairns in tropical northern Australia.

They activated an emergency distress beacon – registered to the Tion, a 9m inflatable catamaran – in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

AMSA requested the assistance of a Panama-flagged vehicle carrier, which successfully conducted the rescue. The boat was located about 800km southeast of Cairns in the Coral Sea.

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