Two men using a supermarket-purchased camping mattress had to be rescued after they drifted out to sea while holidaying in Kerry

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Holidaymakers and bathers are being urged to adhere to safety regulations after two men using a supermarket-purchased camping mattress had to be rescued when they were drifting out to the open sea.

he two men – who are understood to be holidaying in Kerry – sparked a major rescue operation when a person on the beach realised they were in severe difficulty.

Both had been using the inflatable camping mattress in the sea near Cahirsiveen when they were swept away from the shore.

It appears they were unable to get back to shallow water – and were being carried out to sea on strong currents.

Luckily, a person on shore quickly realised the predicament of the two men and raised the alarm shortly before 2pm on Monday.

A rescue operation was launched and co-ordinated by Valentia Coastguard.

A lifeboat was launched and, fortunately, a fishing vessel was in the area and it was also able to respond to the alert.

Both men were located and brought safely ashore shortly before 3pm.

The duo were uninjured but were treated at the scene for shock.

Rescue officials were stunned to realise they had drifted out to sea on an inflatable camping-style mattress which had been purchased in a supermarket.

Water Safety Ireland and the Irish Coast Guard have repeatedly appealed for people to exercise extreme care with inflatable devices given the dangers they pose in terms of drifting.

Two years ago, two children drifted over 2km out to sea in Kerry when swept away by a strong current on an inflatable boat.

Ireland has already witnessed a number of tragic drownings this summer both in the sea and in freshwater.

People engaging in water sports have been urged never to swim alone, to only use waters supervised by lifeguards, never to use alcohol if swimming and to stay within their safe depth.

Those using boats have been urged to adhere to all safety regulations and to ensure they have all safety devices fitted and notify people on shore about their trip and planned return time.

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