A group of Sea Scouts from Malahide were rescued by the coastguard after their annual fishing trip around Ireland’s Eye threw up an unexpected challenge.

The Cubs group, aged nine to 12, are still regaling pals with tales of their adventures on the high seas after their propeller became entangled in a fishing net.

Section leader Stephen Scanlan revealed how in a matter of minutes the budding mariners caught a bird in their fishing line, spotted two dolphins, got up close with some seals and then drifted into a lobster pot buoy.

He told Dublin Gazette: “Every year we charter a boat which takes us out to around Ireland’s Eye. When we reeled in one of the fishing rods it was a bird with its legs caught in the hooks. But we released it and it was fine.”

Stephen (47) said spotting two dolphins swimming alongside the boat was “a lovely surprise”, and just when the group were about to head back to shore they ran into a lobster pot and became entangled.

He said: “The lifeboat from Howth arrived within minutes. We were in no danger whatsoever. They very kindly towed us back to Malahide Marina, which is a sight you don’t see too often.

“The trip was supposed to finish at 7pm and we flipped the lifeboats at 7.05pm. Needless to say, the kids had great stories to tell their parents.”

With more than 750 members and a long waiting list, Malahide Sea Scouts is the biggest Scout group in Ireland and the biggest Sea Scout group in Europe.

Stephen said: “We got the kids a few badges from the lifeboat to remember their rescue. I hope we never, ever get rescued by the lifeboat again. Once in a lifeboat is enough for anybody!”