A violent storm damaged a sailing ship carrying Irish teenagers to Dublin during the Tall Ships Race.
Schoolgirl Ciara Donoghue was on board the Kapitan Borchardt when a squall snapped the ship's boom in two.
"You really had to have your wits about you," said Ciara (17) after the ship arrived safely in Dublin's docklands.
Ciara was one of six young Irish people on board the sailing ship during the race's final leg from Spain to Ireland.
Large numbers of Irish young people were assisted by charity Sail Training Ireland to experience working together on sailing ships.
Violent storm force winds of 110kph and huge waves gave the young crew members an intense few days.
The boom of the 94-year-old Polish sailing ship snapped as Ciara and other crew members worked on deck.
"I never really thought of sailing until my teacher arranged for me to take part in the race. It was a great experience and a once-in-a-lifetime chance," she said.
"The ship kept rolling, hitting waves and dipping down. We were always on edge, but it was great," she said.
Ciara, from Kiltale, Co Meath, is a student at Scoil Mhuire in Trim.
A Polish crewmate, Julia Kulpa (16), said: "The wind was really huge. It was quite exciting. The waves were really big and we were all horribly seasick."
Martina Sawicka (27) took time off from her job as a social worker in Poland to join the crew. She was relieved to arrive in Dublin. "It was 'Ireland at last'," she said.
The ship's captain, Janusz Zbierajewski (70), said his vessel won the race for Class B participants. He said: "For the first two days, everyone was sick. It was almost a hurricane."
The Polish mariner said Irish music and sea shanty songs are "incredibly popular in Poland".
"I like to sing Whiskey in the Jar. I really love The Dubliners. Irish sailors are often amazed to discover that Polish sailors can sing Irish shanties," he said.
Another ship to suffer damage was the majestic Guayas of the Ecuadorean navy. Its captain, Amillar Villavicencio (50), said his crew were accustomed to the more gentle winds of the Pacific and were delighted when winds picked up to 25 knots after leaving Spain for Ireland.
"But then the winds grew stronger and stronger to 50 and 60 knots... Our sails were torn," he said.
The Irish navy had the Creidne sailing vessel in the international race.
Dublin will host a four-day festival for the Tall Ships Race from Thursday.