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Australia-based Sea Princess was sailing on her world cruise when she responded to a distress call and rescued three sailors adrift in a life raft.

Around 2000 Australians sailing on a world cruise witnessed the rescue of the three sailors who were forced to take to a life raft after their boat sank in the South Caribbean Sea.

Sea Princess was asked to go to the rescue scene by the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Curacao in the Lesser Antilles after distress calls were received from a stricken vessel.

The ship immediately turned around and sailed 60 nautical miles to reach the three sailors where a fast rescue boat was lowered to pluck them from their life raft just before midnight.

A tanker had been standing by but had been unable to lower a rescue boat in the prevailing conditions.

After being picked up from the life raft, the three sailors were taken aboard Sea Princess and admitted to the ship’s medical centre. They are reported to be well in spite of their ordeal.

The three rescued seafarers (with visitor passes and a change of clothes) are pictured on the bridge of Sea Princess after their ordeal at sea. They are with Captain Christopher Lye (far right), Staff Captain Paolo Ansaldi (next to the captain), 3rd Officer Max Bingle (far  left who drove the rescue boat) along with two deck staff.

“The Sea Princess team acted in the highest maritime traditions by going to the aid of fellow sailors in peril on the sea,” said Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises Senior Vice President Asia Pacific. “Our guests on Sea Princess have seen seamanship at its best while observing this rescue mission as it happened.”

Sea Princess resumed passage for what will now be a delayed arrival at the Curacao capital of Willemstad before navigating the Panama Canal on Tuesday on the ship’s homeward leg to Sydney across the Pacific Ocean.