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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 5 June, 2020
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RNLI battles 50 foot sea swells to rescue fishermen who sent mayday distress call

The RNLI has released footae of the rescue.

THE RNLI HAS released footage of a dramatic rescue it carried out while out during dangerous storm conditions at the weekend.

Lough Swilly, Portrush and Arranmore RNLI volunteers spent almost 15 hours at sea in storm force conditions at the weekend to rescue five fishermen who got into difficulty off Fanad Head, Donegal.

The RNLI launched at 2.15pm on Saturday following a mayday alert from a 45ft fishing boat.

The five men who had been fishing for crab got into difficulty around 30 kilometres north of Fanad Head. The boat lost power and encountered steering difficulties while violent waves smashed the wheelhouse windows in.

The RNLI said that weather conditions at the time were extremely challenging with the volunteers facing force 9-10 gales and sea swells of 50ft. Arranmore RNLI was requested to launch shortly after at 4pm.

The RNLI spokesman said that the fishermen were cold, tired and shaken from the severity of the weather conditions but were otherwise in good health.

The lifeboat crew worked with the fishermen to establish a tow and the men were transferred to the Lough Swilly lifeboat.

Joe Joyce, Lough Swilly RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: “This was an extremely challenging call out for all the RNLI volunteers involved and we are delighted that the five fishermen were brought safely back to shore.

“Our lifeboats launched in dangerous weather conditions on Saturday afternoon and our volunteers, 20 in all, spent almost 15 hours at sea, most of it in the hours of darkness.

They faced gale force conditions and 50ft swells but with great courage, selflessness and teamwork they successfully met and overcame those challenges to bring the fishermen to safety.

“While challenging for our crews, this call out was a huge testament to the level of training RNLI volunteers undergo. Lifeboat crew members are highly trained and skilled to carry out such challenging work and thanks to the generosity of the public, we are provided with the best of equipment and technology to save lives at sea.”

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