The dramatic incident happened just after 3pm off the coast of Inishowen at Five Fingers Strand.
The man was washed more than a mile and a half out to sea before he was dramatically rescued.
A call was made to Malin Head Coastguard who co-ordinated a rescue in the area.
The Lough Swilly Inshore Lifeboat, Greencastle lifeboat and the Coastguard Rescue helicopter 118 based in Sligo were scrambled to the scene.
Thanks to a woman who had an elevated view of the dramatic situation, she was able to pinpoint and guide the rescue services to the man’s exact location.
The man was taken onto the Lough Swilly Inshore lIfeboat and then taken by the rescue helicopter and flown to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry for treatment.
The man’s condition is not believed to be life-threatening although he is very traumatised after his ordeal.
The RNLI has paid tribute to Malin Head Coastguard station and its crew for their local knowledge of the area.
The say the outcome could have been much different but for that local knowledge.
Lough Swilly Lifeboat spokesman Joe Joyce “A person got into difficulty and was swept out to sea about a mile and a half.
“Luckily a member of the public and they had binoculars and could keep a watch on the person as he was swept out to sea. They were fit to guide the lifeboat to the exact location where he was.
“He was transferred from the lifeboat to the helicopter. He required urgent medical attention and was taken to Altangelvin where he is being assessed.
“The guys at Malin Head have an excellent local knowledge. That stretch of water around the top of Ireland is notorious and they known how the currents are going to behave. The outcome could have been different but for the local knowledge these guys have,” he said.
Derek Flanagan of Malin Head Coastguard said it was an excellently executed operation which thankfully had a positive outcome.