An RNLI team from County Mayo is being praised after spending nearly 12 hours at sea to bring three fishermen to safety.
The volunteers from Ballyglass RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 4am yesterday morning following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of three fishermen onboard a 10m vessel that had got into difficulty after fouling its propeller, 38 miles off the coast.
The lifeboat under Coxswain James Mangan and with four crew members onboard, launched immediately into the darkness and made its way to the scene and into Donegal Bay.
Weather conditions at the time were good and when the lifeboat crew arrived on scene they assessed that all onboard were safe and well before working with the fishermen to establish a towline and then begin the slow journey to Killybegs where they arrived at 10.30am.
Following a short break for breakfast, the lifeboat crew then began the return journey back to Ballyglass, arriving at the lifeboat station and preparing the lifeboat for service again at 3.30pm.
Speaking following the call out, Padraic Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: "The fishermen did the right thing raising the alarm when they got into trouble and we were delighted to be able to help them return to shore safely.
"This was an early morning call out for our volunteers who got out of their beds to respond to their pagers and make their way to the scene. Given where the boat had got into difficulty into Donegal Bay, by the time we reached the scene and towed the vessel safely into Killybegs and made the passage back, our crew had spent 11 and a half hours at sea.
"This is what they are trained for and prepared to do but their efforts today are commendable, and I would like to thank our volunteer team for their willingness, time and dedication."
- Digital Desk