An RAF helicopter and RNLI volunteers went to the aid of the sinking boat off Bardsey Island late on Thursday night

Four men were involved in a dramatic rescue on Thursday evening after their vessel began taking on water off Bardsey Island near Wales.

The crew began using pumps to try and save their sinking boat but they were unable to keep the water levels down and were forced to contact the coastguard as the situation continued to worsen.

Related articles

An RAF search and rescue helicopter was sent to the scene just before 10.30pm, along with a lifeboat from Porthdinllaen RNLI.

Conditions in the area were particularly unfavourable, with up to force seven winds, large swells and rough seas.

While the crew continued to try to do more pumps on board the vessel, the engine stopped and the captain made the decision to abandon ship.

Shortly after, they were winched to safety by the RAF helicopter and taken to hospital.

The volunteer crew from the RNLI remained on scene as a safety precaution while the abandoned vessel sank.

HM Coastguard Robert Bowyer said: “It’s often a difficult judgement call for any captain to call for assistance and even more difficult to leave his vessel, which is his livelihood.

“By calling for assistance when he did, the captain of the Cesca gave the rescue services time to get on scene and try and save his vessel.

“Although they did have to abandon ship he and his crew are safe and well this morning [Friday].”