Two sailors are recovering after their yacht got into difficulties and washed ashore on Achill Island.

It is thought that the 50 foot vessel encountered problems in stormy seas off the west coast early last week and capsized, with the two crew members on board.

No mayday signal was issued and the yacht subsequently washed ashore close to Dooega Head.

It remained there, with its crew, undetected for three days. The alarm was finally raised on Friday, when one of the men scaled the cliffs and sought help.

In a subsequent operation, Achill Island Coast Guard was deployed, along with Gardaí and RNLI volunteers.

Given difficulties in accessing the location where the vessel was stranded, the second crew member had to be airlifted to safety.

He was taken to Mayo University Hospital, where he is still being treated.

Both crew members, one in their late 30s the other in his early 40s, were suffering from dehydration.

One is said to be from Spain, the other from Columbia. Neither was travelling with a passport.

The men told locals they had set off from a destination in the Caribbean and were hoping to travel to Ibiza.

Photographs circulating among the fishing community show an image of the vessel, without its mast, taken off the west coast early last week.

Since the crew were taken to safety on Friday, Customs personnel have carried out an examination of the yacht.

They were assisted in the task by an Aer Corps helicopter, which was used to lower investigators to the location where the vessel is.

It is understood that no navigational equipment, incriminating evidence or identifying documentation of any kind was found on board.

Crews from Achill Island Coast Guard work to rescue the two sailors