Holidaymakers and bathers are being urged to respect safety rules after two men with a supermarket-bought camping mattress had to be rescued as they drifted out to sea.
The two men, believed to be vacationing in Kerry, sparked a major rescue operation when a person on the beach realized they were in serious trouble.
Both had been using the inflatable camping mattress in the sea near Dingle when they were swept away from shore.
It appears they were unable to return to the shallows – and were carried out to sea by strong currents.
Fortunately, a person on land quickly recognized the predicament of the two men and sounded the alarm shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday.
A rescue operation has been launched and is being coordinated by the Valentia Coast Guard.
A lifeboat was lowered and fortunately a fishing vessel was nearby that was also able to respond to the alarm.
Both men were found just before 3 p.m. and brought safely to shore.
The duo was unharmed but received treatment for shock at the scene.
Rescuers were stunned to find they had drifted out to sea on a camping-style inflatable mattress bought from a supermarket.
Water Safety Ireland and the Irish Coastguard have repeatedly called for extreme caution to be exercised with inflatable devices given the drift hazards they pose.
Two years ago, two children in Kerry were drifting more than 2km out to sea when a strong current swept them on a rubber dinghy.
Ireland has already experienced a number of tragic drownings in both sea and fresh water this summer.
People who practice water sports have been urged to never swim alone, only use lifeguard-patrolled waters, never drink alcohol while swimming and stay at their safe depth.
Those using boats have been urged to follow all safety procedures, making sure they have all safety devices in place and informing people on shore of their journey and expected time of return.
https://www.independent.ie/news/two-men-using-a-supermarket-purchased-camping-mattress-had-to-be-rescued-after-they-drifted-out-to-sea-41930986.html Two men using a camping mattress bought at the supermarket had to be rescued after drifting out to sea