A woman with binoculars was hailed a hero last night as she managed to guide a lifeboat to a man who had been washed 2km out to sea.
The dramatic incident happened just after 3pm off off Five Fingers Strand in Inishowen, Co Donegal yesterday.
The woman, a tourist, had an elevated view of the situation and was able to guide the rescue services to the man's exact location.
The man was taken on to the Lough Swilly inshore lifeboat and then taken by a Coast Guard rescue helicopter to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.
The man's condition is not believed to be life-threatening, although he was suffering from hypothermia and was said to be very traumatised.
Lough Swilly Lifeboat spokesman Joe Joyce said: "A person got into difficulty and was swept out to sea. Luckily a member of the public saw it and they had binoculars and could keep a watch on the person as he was swept out to sea. They were fit to guide the lifeboat to the exact location."
Derek Flanagan of Malin Head Coastguard said it was an excellently executed operation which thankfully had a positive outcome.