IT took the muscles of many to save many mussels last night after a traffic accident in Kerry put at risk a large consignment of the shellfish.
A rescue operation was mounted when it was feared that tonnes of mussels would be lost after the lorry transporting them to Rosslare for export crashed on the main road between Kenmare and Kilgarvan.
Locals have complained about the poor state of the road following the recent bad weather.
The Butler Transport lorry got stuck in a ditch after it tried to avoid a deep pothole in the face of oncoming traffic.
Assistance was subsequently ordered to help rescue the mussels, which were bound for France after being collected from farms in Kilmackillogue harbour.
The seafood was transferred to another truck to ensure the live mussels were in pristine condition for the Continent, where there is huge demand for the south Kerry and west Cork produce.
Chris Butler, the driver of the 40ft truck, said the roads were making life very difficult for truck drivers in the south.
"The condition of the roads is terrible. There are potholes everywhere," he said. "All this transfer is an extra cost factor," he said.
It is hoped that the mussels will be shipped safely to their final destination later today.