Gaius Atilius Regulus' fleet was anchored off Tyndaris when he observed the Carthaginian fleet sailing past, without it being arranged in a tactical formation. He gave orders for the main body of his ships to follow the leading ships. He then took an advance guard of ten ships and sailed towards the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians noticed that the advance guard had managed to outdistance the main body of the Roman fleet and that other Romans were still boarding their ships. Taking the initiative, the Carthaginians turned and engaged the Roman squadron and sank nine Roman ships. Meanwhile, the rest of the Roman fleet arrived and formed a line. The Romans then engaged the Carthaginians, sinking eight and capturing ten of their ships. The remainder of the Carthaginian ships retreated the Aeolian Islands.