A nine-year-old girl was rescued after she drifted out to sea on an inflatable dinghy off the coast of Cork yesterday.

The girl was playing with the dinghy in the water at Ardnahinch beach, near Ballycotton, when she got into difficulty at around 5.30pm.

The alert was raised with Valentia Coast Guard and Ballycotton and Youghal RNLI crews were also involved in the operation.

The girl was rescued by the crew of Ballycotton RNLI and brought back to her parents on the beach.

She was unharmed but very upset after what Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Eolan Walsh described as a frightening experience.

He said thankfully the alarm was raised quickly and the girl was wearing a suitable buoyancy aid.

Weather conditions were calm, but off-shore breezes caused the dinghy to drift away from the beach.

He added: "While the coast is a great place for young people and families to enjoy, we would remind everyone to respect the water, to understand the risks and to stay safe."