The Irish Coastguard responded to 72 incidents this weekend on waterways around the country.
A small number of the call-outs were fishing related, but the vast majority were leisure users who got into difficulty swimming or children who got lost on packed beaches.
Many of those who got into difficulty were young children using inflatables.
Declan Geoghan, operations manager with the Irish Coastguard, said that people need to take more care.
"These incidents were very nearly disasters," he said.
"We could have had a lot more deaths because of these and it's lethal to be using them in such conditions because people are sometimes, especially by the seaside, unaware of the tidal conditions, and especially currents, and you can be taken out in seconds and the you're unable to raise the alarm, because you're out of sight."