QUEENSLAND, Australia (WJW) – Three men who were on an inflatable catamaran were saved after multiple shark attacks damaged their boat while sailing in the Coral Sea.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) coordinated the rescue operation Wednesday.

The men told rescuers that their catamaran had sustained damage to both hulls during multiple encounters with sharks.

AMSA contacted a vehicle carrier ship and a helicopter rescue crew who lifted the men to safety.

The men said they were sailing from Vanuatu to Cairns.

Their boat had a distress beacon, which they activated after multiple shark attacks.

AMSA said it may have just saved their lives.

The men have a long way to go before they are back on dry land.  

Their ship is set to arrive in Brisbane on Thursday.