RNLI at work amid stormy seas . .

Clifden RNLI in county Galway has rescued four fish farmers after they got into difficulty in extreme weather conditions on Wednesday afternoon.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat at 1.44pm today (Wednesday 12 February) following a request by Malin Head Coast Guard to go to the assistance of four fish farmers who were stranded at the mouth of Clifden Bay.

With the weather conditions deteriorating, the men who were working in the bay, made the call for help.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo was also tasked.

There were westerly gusts at the time and the tide was ebbing creating a large sea state.

Due to the adverse weather conditions, the lifeboat helmed by Bernard Whelan and with crew members Kenneth Flaherty, Robert King and Thomas Davis onboard, launched from the calm side of the beach in the shelter of the shore and proceeded westward out to Clifden Bay.

Arriving on scene, the crew observed three of the fish farmers on a 16ft boat which was tied to a fish cage. The Clifden RNLI crew transferred the three men from the vessel onto the lifeboat before taking the fourth fish farmer off the large cage. The lifeboat then returned the four men safely to shore.

Speaking following the call out, Saul Joyce, Clifden RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘This was a challenging call out given the gusty weather conditions the lifeboat crew was presented with today. The four casualties who are experienced fish farmers were working when the stormy conditions took over and they made the right decision to call for help. The crew used their skill and training to good effect and we are delighted to have brought all four safely back to shore.’