The Pacific Dawn has come to the rescue of three sailors who sent out a distress call when their yacht started taking on water and began to sink.

The Dawn, which was sailing near New Caledonia earlier this week, was alerted to the sailors by marine rescue authorities in Noumea and the three men, Ben, Chris and Kevin are now safely onboard the ship.

Early reports indicate that the men had trouble with the life raft after their yacht sank.

Dramatic pictures show the men in their life raft and their stricken vessel in the background. And there are photos of the Pacific Dawn’s zodiac heading out to rescue the seafarers.

The Dawn is currently sailing on a seven-night South Pacific cruise with 2,000 passenger onboard, and will arrive in Brisbane on Saturday as scheduled.

The staff are now taking care of the three men and people are praising the staff for their heroic efforts.

Fans of P&O Cruises Australia on Facebook have applauded the crew and their efforts.

“Pacific Dawn and her crew have followed the finest traditions of the sea by going to the aid of fellow seafarers in peril on the sea,” Sture Myrmell, President of P&O Cruises Australia, said.

“It is wonderful to know that all three seafarers are now safe and well and being cared for on board Pacific Dawn.”

The ship and crew have a long history of rescuing people. One Facebook user, Margaret Pittaway said, “While we were on the Pacific Dawn on our way back from a Papua New Guinea cruise about five years ago, the Captain received a message that there was a “man overboard ” situation from another ship in the area.

“If I had not seen it for myself, I would not have believed that a cruise ship could move that fast – luckily he was located and rescued when we were still about 16 miles away. Cheers and relief all round. Well done Pacific Dawn crew on your latest efforts.”