Eight people, including four children and four adults, have been rescued from the water at Tramore beach, Rosbeg.
Malin Head Coast Guard Marine Rescue said they received a call at around 1.45pm yesterday to say that children had gotten into difficulties while in the water.
Killybegs and Bunbeg Coast Guard, Arranmore RNLI and the rescue helicopter from Sligo were tasked to the scene.
Local man Patsy Harkin witnessed the incident and was involved in the rescue.
He told the Democrat: “Paul Harkin, a local man who lives in Belfast but has a house here, was in the water with his teenage son. He knows the seas well and felt the current was too strong.
“Dr Kieran Harkin, who lives in Dublin, was also in the water, with his three young children, who are aged between 6 and 11, I think, and his brother. There were other people in the water as well.
“Paul brought three children back in to shore.
“Kieran brought one child to safety and went back to help his brother, who was still in the water and in serious difficulties because of the current. We were very worried at that stage about the two of them.
“Two lifeguards from Narin arrived and tried to swim out, but the current was taking them out to sea as well.
“The helicopter arrived and landed. The tide turned then and the two men were washed close to the shore. I think local people helped bring them in. The helicopter Kieran’s brother to Letterkenny General Hospital, and I believe Kieran accompanied him.
“My son Patrick took his RIB out, along with myself, my brother Anthony and a neighbour Owen Harkin, and we lifted the lifeguards from the water. They were fine.”
“We are just delighted that everyone was gotten safely out of the water. It’s a spring tide and the currents are exceptionally strong, so there were definitely lives saved here.”
The rescue helicopter had been on standby to assist two surfers at Malin Head but that situation was resolved while the Rosbeg rescue was underway.