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Three men were saved after their inflatable boat was targeted by sharks – just hours after two others were involved in a close call.
The sailors – made up of two Russians and a Frenchman – were rescued by the emergency services after unleashing a distress flare at 1.30am on Tuesday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said in a statement.
The crew were on a around-the-world trip and had originally left the Oceania island of Vanuatu on August 28 to head to Cairns, Australia.
But during the voyage, several sharks attacked the 30-foot inflatable boat, including both of its hulls.
READ MORE: Three rescued from yacht after ‘several’ shark attacks off Australian coast
When it was finally recovered by emergency services it had “large sections of its hull missing”, Joe Zeller, a senior manager at AMSA, said.
He said the “emergency beacon absolutely saved their lives” while reflecting on the life-saving mission his organisation carried out to save the trio of sailors.
The mission to rescue the men was carried out by the Panama-registered Dugong Ace – a 650-foot vehicle carrier.
The sailors, described as being aged between 28 and 64, are expected to arrive in Brisbane on Thursday.
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A spokesperson for the expedition told NBC that the “travelers are safe, this is the most important thing”.
But they added: “Unfortunately, the catamaran could not be saved. The fate of the expedition will be clear next week.”
It comes after two swimmers were bitten by a shark in the US over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
One, a 37-year-old woman, was swimming in Ponce, Florida, when her foot was clamped on.
On the same beach, a man in his thirties was also snapped at by a shark.
It is unclear what type of shark bit the civilians.
The beach is located 60 miles from the tourist hotspot of Orlando.
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