The Coast Guard's Rescue 118 helicopter crew backed up by Bunbeg Coast Guard and the RNLI from Arranmore have taken a man from the waters four miles south of Arranmore and off the coast near Maghery beach.
The drama unfolded this morning at 10.10am when the alarm was raised by the fisherman who activated a safety device on his life jacket with Malin Head Coastguard then coordinating the rescue.
The alarm was raised when several 999 calls were received reporting a man in the water calling for help just south of Arranmore.
A spokesman at the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre at Malin Head said the Arranmore RNLI vessel, the Coastguard Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo, and the Bunbeg Coastguard were all tasked to the incident.
A distress call alerting all vessels in the area to the incident was also issued.
The man was located by members of the Bunbeg Coastguard team and he was winched from the water by Rescue 118.
He was wearing a lifejacket and was airlifted to Letterkenny University Hospital suffering from hypothermia and an injured leg.
It is understood the man, who was lobster fishing, was the only occupant of a small vessel. The vessel has not been located and the exact circumstances of the incident are unknown.
A personal alarm device which the man set off is understood to have brought the rescue services to the position where he was in the water.
Gerry Early, Deputy Launching Officer Arranmore RNLI said he understood the rescue helicopter was on its way to north May to continue the ongoing search there and the fact they were in the air could have saved as much as ten minutes getting to the fisherman. With water temperatures as they are at this time of year, those minutes were vital, he said.
He said he understood the fisherman is from the Burtonport/Dungloe area.