The RNLI has warned of the danger of using inflatable toys in the sea after two men were rescued off the Cork coast yesterday evening.

Former RNLI crew member Aengus O'Donovan was returning to Crosshaven in his trawler when he spotted the two young men on an inflatable boat around 2km offshore.

Neither man was wearing a life jacket and they had lost a paddle, and the inflatable boat was taking on water.

Mr O'Donovan and his crewmate, Mathew Byrne, lifted the men out of the water and brought them to Crosshaven RNLI Station.

Both men were treated for hypothermia at the station.

RNLI Deputy Launch Authority at Crosshaven Hugh Mockler said supermarket inflatables should only be used in swimming pools.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said that anyone going out near the coastline, even a few metres, needs to be in something safe and to be dressed appropriately.

Mr Mockler said he could not believe that the inflatable boat had managed to drift out so far from shore.

He said it was important that anyone going out on the water wears appropriate clothing, including a life jacket, and carries a handheld VHF radio and should inform someone of their plans.

In May, two children were rescued in separate incidents along the west coast after their flotation devices were swept out to sea.

A five-year-old girl was taken to hospital after being rescued in the Shannon Estuary when a lilo float was swept out to sea.

A six-year-old boy was rescued from the water at Renville in Co Galway after being swept out to sea on a surf board.