3 rescued from Coral Sea after multiple shark attacks damaged inflatable catamaran

(ABC News) – Three people were rescued from the Coral Sea after “multiple shark attacks” damaged their catamaran.

Following an alert from a Russian-registered emergency position-indicating radio beacon, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority responded to the distress call early Wednesday morning at around 1:30 a.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time.

The beacon came from a 29 feet inflatable catamaran Tion with three people aboard — two Russian citizens and one French citizen.

The sailing party had departed from Vanuatu, in the South Pacific, and was traveling to Cairns, a coastal city in Queensland, Australia. While details are slim, the stranded people were in their catamaran 519 miles off the coast of Cairns in the Coral Sea, per the AMSA. Both hulls of the catamaran had been “damaged following several shark attacks,” the AMSA confirmed in a release.

After receiving the beacon’s signal, AMSA sent a Cairns-based Challenger Rescue Aircraft to the catamaran’s location and secured the assistance of the Dugong Ace, a vehicle carrier sailing under a Panama flag.

The three people were rescued and are expected to arrive in Brisbane, Australia on Thursday morning.

No further information was immediately available.