Four children were rescued from an island in Ballyvaughan Bay in Co Clare after becoming stranded during the rising tide this afternoon.

A major operation, involving the Galway RNLI Lifeboat and the Irish Coastguard Rescue Helicopter, was launched after the children's father swam ashore and raised the alarm.

The rescue helicopter was first to arrive at the scene and a crewman was lowered to the island until Galway Lifeboat arrived shortly afterwards.

Two of the lifeboat crew waded onto the island and transferred the four children, a 10-year-old and three teenagers, to the lifeboat where they were brought ashore to the quay in Ballyvaghan.