Two kayakers who had been reported missing from Rosscarbery, Co Cork, were rescued late last night.

The teenaged kayakers, a boy and a girl, got into difficulty in challenging sea conditions, and became trapped in a cave.

A search was launched after they failed to return home at the expected time.

Rescuers heard a whistle from a cave, and after an unsuccessful attempt to reach the cave by boat, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Helm John Kearney swam 50m through dangerous surf conditions to rescue the teenagers.

They were brought to shore, and after a medical assessment were reunited with their families.

After the rescue, Mr Kearney said: "The water in the cave was churning like a washing machine. However I was convinced that I had heard a sound and was concerned for the safety of the kayakers.

“I will never forget the relief I felt when I saw the two young people alive and safe inside the cave."

“They were very brave and did exactly what they needed to do to get to safety. We are very lucky to have two lifeboats in Baltimore, and by using all of our available resources and training we were able to bring these young people to safety."

Separately, a man remains in a stable condition in hospital after being airlifted off the Macgillycuddy Reeks in Co Kerry.

The Galway man, who is in his 30s, fell 50m while climbing.

He was stretchered down the mountain and airlifted to hospital.