An elderly man had a lucky escape when he became stuck in mud flats at low tide and had to be airlifted to safety.
The 72-year-old who was out walking across the flats at Fahan Creek on Lough Swilly, Co Donegal on Saturday during a low Spring tide, sank to his waist in the soft mud and was unable to free himself.
Onlookers, including his wife, who watched in desperation from the shore, were stopped from rushing to his aid by a Lough Swilly lifeboat crew member who witnessed the incident.
Instead he contacted Malin Head Coastguard to send out a helicopter.
"It would have been far too dangerous for anyone else to have gone out and there was not enough water for the lifeboat to get to the scene," a Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboat spokesperson explained.
The Sligo-based helicopter flew 150km to the scene where rescuers struggled against the incoming tide for almost an hour to attach straps to the man and lift him to safety.
He was taken by ambulance to Letterkenny General Hospital but discharged after examination.
This is the second incident in the past six weeks where a person became stuck in the mudflats at Fahan.