FOUR men were marooned on rocks off the coast at Little Haven this afternoon, after one of them needed to leave their oil tanker to return home to the Philippines.

According to witness reports from the shore at Little Haven, the four oil tanker workers left the ship Else Marie Theresa after midday today (Thursday, April 19), as one of them received news of a death in the family in his home country, the Philippines.

He had decided to return home by catching a plane from Cardiff Airport this afternoon.

As their boat approached shore, it capsized, but luckily the men were able to make their way onto some nearby rocks.

The front of the boat used by the men, labelled with the tanker's name. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney.

“It had basically caught itself on the rocks, and they climbed out of the boat and waited on the rocks,” said a member of staff at The Castle pub.

A lifeboat from Little Haven RNLI station was launched and saved the stranded men.

The RNLI later returned to retrieve the capsized boat from the water.

A spokesperson for the RNLI said: “The inshore RNLI lifeboat from Little and Broad Haven was launched at 1pm this afternoon following reports that a vessel had overturned into the surf with four men on board.

“The vessel had been escorting passengers to shore from further out to sea when it hit surf and overturned. The men were clinging to the boat, but were drifting dangerously close to rocks.

“When the RNLI lifeboat arrived the men were on rocks and were transferred on to the lifeboat. They were returned to the shore, wet and cold.”

The tanker Else Marie Theresa. PICTURE: Martin Cavaney.

Else Marie Theresa is an oil and chemical products tanker, which sails under the flag of Denmark.

The ship is currently making a journey from Rotterdam to Pembroke Port, expected to arrive at 7pm tonight.