Holyhead Coastguard Operations Centre co-ordinated the rescue of four fishermen last night after their Milford Haven-based vessel started taking on water at the start of its fishing trip.

At 22.22 yesterday (Thursday) the fishing vessel ‘Cesca’ reported that it was on route from Milford Haven to Conwy and was taking on water.

The crew were using pumps to try and keep the level on water down but they weren’t able to keep up with the flow. As the situation was getting worse they called the Coastguard for assistance.

The RAF search and rescue helicopter based at RAF Valley was sent to the scene.

Whilst trying to drop more pumps on the fishing vessel the ‘Cesca’s’ engines stopped and the Captain made the decision to abandon ship.

The crew were winched by the helicopter and taken to safety.

Flt Lt Al Conner of C Flight, 22 Squadron, RAF Valley told the Daily Post: “We went with the intention of delivering a pump to help them pump out but all four had abandoned to the liferaft.

“Flt Sgt Neil Cooper and winch operator Mike Bosier-Wyles got the men aboard, while pilot Wg Cmdr ‘Sparky’ Dunlop kept her steady, and we took them to hospital in Bangor. All the men were ok, although they were cold and wet.”

HM Coastguard's Robert Bowyer said:“It’s often a difficult judgement call for any Captain to call for assistance and even more difficult to leave his vessel, which is his livelihood.

"By calling for assistance when he did the Captain of the ‘Cesca’ gave the rescue services time to get on scene and try and save his vessel. Although they did have to abandon ship he and his crew are safe and well this morning.”

The young Captain, Jake Bowman-Davies from Neyland, later messaged concerned friends on Facebook to say they were all fine.