When the Cape Dorset started taking on water off the coast of Newfoundland last weekend, search and rescue crews were dispatched, but it was a group of Nova Scotia fishermen who actually rescued the crew of 20 in high winds and rough seas.

Having spent more than three decades on the water, Wesley Henneberry is no stranger to rough seas.

He and the crew of the Ivy Rose rescued the 20-man crew, battling strong winds and high seas.

"It could have been worse; it could have been the night before,” says shipmate Phillip Ryan.

"Sea conditions were 35-40 feet or more, if it had happened then, probably would have been a loss of life or whatever,” adds Henneberry.

Henneberry's crew says their captain did a great job during the rescue, keeping everything organized and making sure everyone got onboard their ship safely. But Henneberry says all the credit goes to the captain of the Cape Dorset.

"He's the real hero here because he abandoned ship at the right time, he didn't hesitate to do what he needed to do,” says Henneberry.

Henneberry's brother and co-captain, Marty, is proud of the crew.

"I think they did an excellent job, and experience pays into a lot of it too, right, and just keeping a calm head and thinking before you react right,” says Marty Henneberry.

The 27 men spent about 15 hours together on the Ivy Rose, a boat built for ten.

They eventually arrived in Trepassy, Newfoundland.

"It was very crowded, but like I say, everybody got along good, there was people laying on survival suits, and laying around the floor,” says Henneberry.

Henneberry says he has assisted with six rescues in his 40 year career.

With files from CTV’s Suzette Belliveau