Ballyglass RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was requested to launch on Tuesday night by the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a local fishing vessel in difficulty, 25 nautical miles north of Erris Head.
The volunteer lifeboat crew were alerted by pager at 10pm and rushed to the aid of the vessel, making their way there through heavy seas.
The skipper had called the Coast Guard when a rope had fouled the propeller, making it impossible for them to proceed. There was a strong north-westerly wind force 6-7 and poor visibility, making for challenging conditions for both lifeboat and the casualty vessel.
Once on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and proceeded to set up tow ropes to bring the crabber and her five crew safely home to Ballyglass pier. It was a slow and arduous return in the dark and they reached the harbour just after daybreak.
The lifeboat was then refuelled, washed down and was back on her mooring by 8.30am, after which the volunteer crew then departed for their day jobs.
James Mangan, Ballyglass RNLI Coxswain, said: "There was a fantastic response by so many of our volunteer crew who showed up at such a late hour on a wild night. It’s a testament to their dedication and training that a successful rescue was carried out under challenging conditions.
"We were happy to give assistance to the fishing crew who were going about their work when they got into difficulty. Though we are a charity, we have the best of equipment and training to ensure we are always ready to save lives at sea."