Dramatic photos revealed how close two Australians and a British man came to disaster after their boat began to sink in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Cousins Chris and Kevin Doran, along with their shipmate Ben Johnson, traveled from Vanuatu to the Gold Coast when their boat hit a tugboat water from New Caledonia on Thursday morning.
When their yacht began to take water, the three sailors were forced to flee into a small life raft before sending a desperate mayday call.
The calls were picked up by officials who informed the nearby Pacific Dawn cruise ship, removed the sailors from the ocean and brought them back home for emotional reunion with their families on Saturday morning.
Officials asked the Pacific Dawn cruise ship to turn around and save the men when their boat started sinking after they tied a rope (pictured sailors are saved)
The seasoned sailors were clamped on a small liferaft after their yacht, Liberty, began to sink (photo: Ben Johnson on the raft)
& # 39; There is always a risk, but I believe the risk was quite low because we had a lot of confidence in our safety equipment and procedures, & # 39; said Chris Doran (pictured on raft) of the ordeal
Ben Johnson (left), Chris Doran (center) and Kevin Doran (right) had to flee their yacht in a liferaft, anxiously waiting for the Pacific Dawn crew to save them
Chris and Kevin Doran spoke to reporters on Saturday morning and said they couldn't wait to be reunited with their families after the traumatic ordeal.
& # 39; Never been happier coming home, & # 39; Chris said.
Although they were cramped on the life raft, the seasoned sailors knew they would be able to stay afloat.
& # 39; There is always a risk, but I believe the risk was quite low because we had a lot of confidence in our safety equipment and procedures, & # 39; said Mr. Doran.
Liberty sailing yacht (pictured as it started to sink) was hit by the rope and began to sink into the water as the sailors fled
Chris Doran had traveled for years on the yacht, Liberty, (photo) including a recent visit to Hobart with his cousin Kevin.
& # 39; At first we thought we might have hit a reef, but that wasn't the case, & # 39; Chris Doran told AAP.
& # 39; We found a fairly large ship's rope, which was about 50 meters and it wrapped around both propellers, creating a breach in the hull, and the boat began to take on water. & # 39;
The heroic captain of the Pacific Dawn said it was a & # 39; no brainer & # 39; to help the affected sailors.
"It was a no-brainer, we had to go help them, but luckily they were on the route, so we didn't have to return," said Captain Alan Dockeray.
& # 39; It was fortunate that we were so close and the operation was coordinated so well by the maritime rescue authorities in Noumea, & # 39; he said in a statement.
At the time of sinking, Mr. Doran said he knew he had no choice but to leave his beloved yacht and throw food and safety equipment in the raft (photo: Chris and Kevin Doran after docking in Brisbane)
Once aboard the cruise ship, the men were treated like celebrities while dozens of passengers asked for photos (photo: sailors aboard the Pacific Dawn)
& # 39; The hotel team has also done an excellent job making our unexpected guests as comfortable as possible after their ordeal.
& # 39; We can't be happier than bringing them safely back to their families. & # 39;
Chris Doran had traveled for years on the Liberty yacht, including a recent visit to Hobart with his cousin Kevin.
At the time of sinking, Mr. Doran said he knew he had no choice but to leave his beloved yacht and throw food and safety equipment in the raft.
& # 39; I wasn't worried about the boat because we couldn't save it, we couldn't have saved it in any way & # 39 ;, he said, The Morning Morning Herald reported.
& # 39; (There are) many memories with the family and it was a beautiful boat, & # 39; Chris said.
& # 39; Sad to see it go. & # 39;
The sailors could finally return to the dry in Brisbane on Saturday morning. depicted: Sailors Chris Doran (left), cousin Kevin (center) and Ben Johnson (right) with members of the Pacific Dawn cruise ship
The trio traveled from Venatua to the Gold Coast before they ran into trouble, but luckily the cruise ship was close enough to save them (photo: sailors with the Pacific Dawn crew)
The sailors could call their families and tell them that they were once safe aboard the Pacific Dawn (photo: Chris Doran before their boat sank)
The Pacific Dawn had 2,000 holidaymakers on board at the time of the rescue.
The sailors were found floating in an orange life raft about 100 meters from their submarine yacht.
Once on board, they called their families to tell them they were safe.
Left: The men float in a life raft 100 meters from their sunken yacht. Right: the men climb from the Pacific Dawn auxiliary ship to the main ship, aided by three staff members in blue hats
The three sailors made an emergency call after their boat started to fetch water (photo: the men in a liferaft (right) are picked up by rescuers)
& # 39; It was a no-brainer, we had to help them & # 39 ;, said Captain Alan Dockeray of Pacific Dawn (photo: Pacific Dawn cruise ship)
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