Coastguard and RNLI personnel were tasked to a vessel in difficulty off the east Antrim coast yesterday.
It is understood the alarm was raised shortly before 3.30pm after the pleasure fishing vessel had fouled its prop and was drifting ashore onto rocks.
Detailing the operation, a spokesperson for Donaghadee RNLI said: “Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat was put to sea once again this afternoon (Friday) to assist our colleagues from Bangor RNLI who had responded to a vessel in difficulty to the east of Carrickfergus.
“The pleasure boat had fouled its propeller and drifted onto the rocks and began taking on water. Two persons had abandoned the vessel and made it onto the rocks and were assisted by Coastguard rescue teams. “Attempts were made to tow the vessel free but unfortunately it sank. Two other people were recovered by Bangor ILB and taken to Carrickfergus harbour. Both boats were subsequently ‘stood down ‘ and returned to station.”
A Belfast Coastguard spokesperson added: “Portmuck and Larne Coastguard Rescue Teams were tasked and Bangor and Donaghadee RNLI lifeboats requested to launch. Two persons from the fishing vessel made it to shore.
“Bangor lifeboat attempted to tow the casualty vessel to safety, but unfortunately it couldn’t be saved, and has since sunk.
“Two persons were taken on board the lifeboat and the remaining two persons were rescued by Coastguard on the shoreline.”