The local fisherman, Paul Doherty, who was rescued from the sea at Tullagh bay this week has praised the swift actions of the RNLI and his neighbours John and Mamie Grant.

The father of four was found clinging to a lobster pot in Tullagh bay on Sunday afternoon. His cries for help were heard by local farmers the Grants. He had been in the sea for an hour before being plucked to safety.

John Grant, from Binion, Clonmany, has been hailed as a hero following the dramatic rescue of a fisherman from Tullagh Bay at the weekend.

John, who is a stonemason, was tending to sheep with his mother Mamie on Sunday afternoon when they thought they heard shouts coming from the direction of the sea.

The 23-year-old said: “We looked at each other and stopped what we were doing. We realised it sounded like someone shouting ‘help’ so I got on my quad and went down to the beach.”

John said when he got to the beach he could no longer hear the calls but then spotted something: “I scanned across the bay and I could see a speck quite far out  in the distance.

“Then I saw an arm waving, and realised it was someone was in trouble. I got into the quad and raced back to my mother, who called the Coast Guard.”

The figure turned out to be a fisherman, who has been named locally as Paul Doherty. It is believed Mr Doherty, who is in his late 30s, had been tending to his pots when his boat sank half-a-mile out to sea.

Mamie’s call to the Coast Guard sparked a dramatic rescue operation involving two Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboats, a local fishing boat, and the Coast Guard Rescue 188 helicopter. 

She remained on the phone to the Coast Guard, who had sent out an alert to any boats in the area to assist. The first vessel on the sea was a local fishing boat from Fahan.

John said: “When we saw that boat coming over the horizon we were so relieved.”

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