The scene played out on the Irish Sea off Ireland’s northeast coast. As the commercial fishing trawler Snowdonia rapidly sinks, the passing trawler Tribute rushes to the crew’s aid.
Airidas Grabauskas, a crewman aboard the Tribute, captured the drama on his camera phone and posted the video on YouTube, where it has attracted 215,000 views.
Click play to watch.
The two crewmen aboard Snowdonia can be seen abandoning ship as their listing vessel suddenly starts to slip stern-first beneath the surface, threatening to pull them under.
The footage shows them battling to stay afloat. One of the crew has his foot trapped in a line attached to the vessel and is pulled down. He told rescuers that he managed to free himself by kicking off his shoe. Both were safely taken aboard the Tribute.
“We just went up on a wave, and the back of the boat went into the water and she never came back. She went down that quick,” one Snowdonia of the crewmen told the BBC.
A second video Grabauskas posted shows the crewmen being air-lifted from the Tribute.