Three people have been rescued from a trawler which caught fire and is in danger of sinking off the Galway coast.

Efforts to put out the fire on the 80-foot trawler have now been abandoned, with coastguard services saying their greatest concern is that the boat may cause pollution or drift ashore.

The crew were unable to get the fire under control after it started in the engine room of the boat.

The Shannon-based rescue helicopter arrived on the scene as the fire spread and succeeded in winching the three crew members to safety.

They have now been flown to Knock Airport.

The timber-hulled trawler was en route from Kilronan in the Aran Islands to Ballyglass, Co Mayo.

It was about two miles south of Slyne Head when the blaze broke out.