THREE men rescued by P&O Cruises’ Brisbane-based Pacific Dawn have arrived safely in Brisbane.

The trio, Ben Johnson, Chris Doran and Kevin Doran, were plucked from a liferaft in the open sea off New Caledonia on Thursday after their motor cruiser was badly damaged and took on water.

Noumea search and rescue authorities asked Pacific Dawn to divert to assist the stricken vessel. Fortunately for the stranded seafarers, Pacific Dawn was nearby. The ship with 2000 cruise passengers onboard immediately changed course to go to the seafarers’ aid.

A tender vessel was lowered from the ship with the trio then transferred from the liferaft before being taken on board the cruise ship.

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“It was good fortune that we were so close and that the operation was so well coordinated by the marine rescue authorities in Noumea,” P&O Cruises’ Captain Dockeray said.

“For generations, the first obligation for seafarers has been to go to the aid of others in peril on the sea. I am proud to say that Pacific Dawn and the ship’s company have honoured that tradition in its fullest sense.

“The hotel operations team has also done a wonderful job making our unexpected guests as comfortable as possible following their ordeal.

“We couldn’t be happier than to be returning them to their families safe and well,” Captain Dockeray said.

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