The lifeboat Operations Manager at Wicklow RNLI has urged children and parents not to use inflatable toys in the sea after the rescue of two teenage girls who drifted out to sea on a rubber ring yesterday.
Mary Aldridge said the girls were "very lucky" to have been rescued after being blown out to sea at Silver Strand beach near Wicklow Head.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said it was a "sunny but windy day" when the RNLI got a call from the Coastguard at 5.20pm to alert it to the two girls who were in difficulty off the beach.
The RNLI dispatched a a rib and all-weather lifeboat to the scene.
She said that two men who were on the beach had gone to help the girls and managed to get them onto the rocks.
The smaller lifeboat went in twice to the rocks to try to reach them before managing to take them on board.
They were transferred to the larger lifeboat before being winched onto the Rescue 116 helicopter and transferred to Dublin Airport. The girls were then taken to hospital by ambulance.
Ms Aldridge said it was very lucky for them that the two men on the beach were able to come to their aid and only for "the quick actions of all involved it would have been a different result".
She said the girls were traumatised, and had cuts and bruises.
The RNLI said that inflatable toys are suited to swimming pools and can be lethal if used on the sea.
She said that even if the water looks calm with gusts, "you can be taken out and be 100 metres offshore before you realise it".