The RNLI has urged water enthusiasts to leave inflatables including airbeds and blow-up dinghies or doughnuts at home this summer, as it launches a water safety campaign.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, RNLI water safety delivery support officer for the Ireland region Lisa Hollingum encouraged people to check forecasts and tides ahead of time, as the number of people partaking in water sports rises into the summer.

She also urged people not to go out in offshore winds, due to the risk of getting blown out to sea.

She said the RNLI is working with retailers to promote a local ambassador scheme.

This is a scheme asking people to sign up to the RNLI website to access water safety information to share in their community to help keep people safe this summer.

A key message of the campaign is that inflatable toys, including lilos, are not suitable for beaches and inland waterways.

Ms Hollingum said the main advice to people using floatables and inflatables is to ensure they have a means of calling for help on them, with a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch the best option.

The RNLI recommends wearing a bouyancy aid or life jacket, to go with a friend, and to tell someone where you are going and when you are expected to be back.

In an emergency, she said, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coast guard.

Those using paddle boards, she said, need to be connected with a leash so that if they fall off, they do not become separated from their board.