Three men thrown overboard by a freak wave have been plucked out of the ocean in a rescue operation involving three helicopters.
The men, aged in their 50s, were fishing in the Royal National Park in New South Wales when a wave flipped their boat about 8.30am today.
Stranded in the water without phones or radios, they were stuck clinging to the boat's hull for an hour before a bushwalker spotted them and called police.
Toll Ambulance Rescue, PolAir and Westpac Live Saver helicopters worked together to pull the men to safety.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Andrew Bibby said the fishermen are lucky to be alive.
"Thankfully they were wearing life jackets, which may have prevented a much more serious situation," he said.
"This is a timely reminder to anyone heading out on the water to be prepared and ensure you have the necessary safety equipment on board."
The helicopters dropped them at Wattamolla Beach, where they were treated for mild hypothermia and suspected water inhalation before being taken to Sutherland Hospital in stable condition.
Police towed the boat back to shore.