Straight out of Jaws, sharks attack yacht off Australia coast, 3 rescued

Debodinna Chakraborty
Debodinna ChakrabortySep 06, 2023 | 13:22

Straight out of Jaws, sharks attack yacht off Australia coast, 3 rescued

The inflatable yacht had one French and two Russian sailors onboard. (Photo: AMSA)

Three tourists, adrift hundreds of kilometers from the shoreline of Cairns, Australia, on an inflatable catamaran, were saved following their distress call when their vessel fell victim to repeated shark attacks.

Imagine your dream yacht trip turning into a nightmare as it unfolds, with sharks lurking in the depths.

This is exactly how the story of three individuals unfolded when they were rescued from a catamaran off the northeastern shores of Australia, following multiple shark encounters that resulted in damage to their vessel.


According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), this incident occurred on Wednesday in the Coral Sea vicinity near Cairns. The catamaran's hulls sustained considerable damage due to the numerous shark attacks.

What is a Catamaran?

A catamaran, a vessel characterized by twin parallel hulls connected by a structure, finds its roots in the fishing communities of the Polynesian islands.

These unique boats have a limited passenger capacity, typically accommodating just four passengers on a catamaran cruise.

Who was onboard?

According to a report by DailyMail, the catamaran cruise, named Tion, had two Russian citizens, Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Berezkin, and one French citizen, Vincent Beaujeu, onboard during the attacks. The tourists activated the ship’s emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) to call for help after the repeated attacks.

They were again attacked by the sharks the following day, which resulted in damage to the right "balloon" and both hulls being damaged.

On social media, the crew onboard, who were reportedly on a global voyage known as Russian Ocean Way, shared that their initial shark encounter on September 4 caused heavy damage to the rear left cylinder of their 9-meter inflatable catamaran.


The tourists were documenting the entire nerve-racking scenario online. 

The rescue operation

The yacht found itself approximately 835 kilometers (519 miles) southeast of Cairns in the Coral Sea as rescue teams swiftly reacted to the emergency around 1:30 am on Wednesday.

The ship sailed approximately 835 kilometres (519 miles) southeast of Cairns in the Coral Sea. (Photo: Reuters)

AMSA initiated an urgent rescue mission, and fortunately, they requested assistance for the rescue from a nearby vehicle-carrying ship, the Dugong Ace, which was en route from Port Kembla to China, along with a Challenger Rescue Aircraft based in Cairns.

They're very lucky … it's rare to have a vessel so close in such a remote location... 
- AMSA on-duty response center manager Joseph Keller.

Three individuals onboard the catamaran were effectively saved by the Dugong Ace. This ship, en route to Shanghai, reached the location within a mere 45 minutes after the SOS signal, as confirmed by the crew through their social media posts. The rescued crew is set to reach Brisbane on Thursday morning.

Last updated: September 06, 2023 | 13:25
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy