The pagers went off just before 2am, when the lifeboat crew – along with their Donegal coastal colleagues from Bunbeg Coast Guard – were called out to assist the yacht, with a father and son on board, that had dragged its anchor and got stuck on rocks at Gola Island.
Once on scene a tow was quickly established between the yacht and the Arranmore all-weather lifeboat. But with the tide out it proved too dangerous to try and move the yacht, and both rescue crews waited on scene with the vessel until the water rose and it was safe to try and move the stricken yacht.
At 4:50am a successful attempt was made to move the yacht and the tow to Burtonport commenced. When coming along Owey Sound, however, it was apparent that the rudder on the yacht was broken and great care had to be taken to keep the vessel on course.
Weather conditions were Force 5 to 6 with a north-westerly wind blowing. The shelter of Gola made the tow quite smooth initially, but on leaving the area conditions deteriorated and it was a difficulty passage for the remaining journey.
Commenting on the callout, Arranmore RNLI coxswain Anton Kavanagh said: "Thankfully both father and son [on the yacht] sustained no injuries. Due to the weather conditions the yacht was very lucky to receive only minor damage."