The two fishermen were forced to abandon their boat after it starting sinking off the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. They were airlifted to safety by the UK Coastguard.

Two fishermen have been rescued by the crew of a UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter after their fishing boat sank rapidly off Scotland.

According to a media release from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the UK Coastguard received “a faint and broken Mayday call” from the vessel requesting immediate assistance.

The call on Channel 16 came at just after 3pm on 12 October, 2016.

The boat’s skipper managed to give their location before the two men abandoned their 20-foot boat.

The UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter was immediately dispatched to an area west of Carloway on the Isle of Lewis.

The Stornoway, Ness and Breasclete Coastguard Rescue Teams were also sent to the location.

The fishermen, in their life raft, managed to make it to shore, and the two men were winched into the helicopter and taken to Stornoway Airport.

They were met by an ambulance and taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Commenting on the rescue, the UK Coastguard duty controller, Angus MacIver said: “It would appear that the fishermen’s vessel sank very quickly, and we were very lucky that they managed to give us their exact position before they abandoned their vessel.”

“The helicopter arrived on scene within minutes and was able to locate and rescue the two men from a remote area on the west,” he continued.

“Despite their ordeal, it would appear that they are in relatively good health but they have been taken to hospital by ambulance as a precautionary measure,” explained MacIver.

“We are in the process of establishing what occurred to the vessel and will monitor the debris of the boat in case it washes ashore,” continued the duty controller.

“We have also notified our counter pollution team of possible fuel being lost from the vessel and Police Scotland are also aware of the incident,” he said.