The boy was out of his depth and drifting away from the shore on his inflatable dolphin. Watch as the 9-year-old is rescued by RNLI lifeguards.

A young boy, who was drifting out to sea on his inflatable dolphin, has been rescued by RNLI lifeguards.

Nine-year-old Ryan was out of his depth and struggling to get back to shore at Joss Bay, Kent.

RNLI lifeguard, Harry Higate Royce spotted the boy as he was drifting towards the boundaries of the red and yellow flagged zone.

The flags are used to designate a swimming area.

Harry, who is 17, paddled out to Ryan on a rescue board.

On reaching him, it was discovered that Ryan was unable to swim and was getting tired of kicking as he struggled to get back to shore.

Harry attached a cord to the inflatable dolphin and towed the boy to shore where he was reunited with his mother.

Both were given safety advice by the lifeguards on duty.

Ryan’s mother, Claire Supple said: “Thank you so much to the lifeguards who helped my son get back to shore safely, if it wasn’t for them, who knows what could have happened?”

RNLI lifeguard supervisor, Ben Detheridge, said extra care needs to be taken when using inflatables.

“Because of the direction of the wind, the boy would have eventually been blown towards the chalk reef just north of the bay,” he said.

“This means he would have had to clamber across a slippery, uneven reef to get back to the sandy shore, which could have led to further challenges for the lifeguards.”

Detheridge continued: “The boy and his family did the right thing by coming to a lifeguarded beach and swimming between the red and yellow flags to enjoy their day at the seaside.”

“However, the conditions of the sea are ever-changing and unpredictable which can quickly lead even the most experienced of swimmers into a difficult situation,” stressed the RNLI lifeguard supervisor.

The rescue on 26 July comes after a busy weekend which saw lifeguards at Joss Bay assist a further four beach goers in inflatable boats, kayaks and rubber rings.

RNI lifeguards will be patrolling 13 beaches across Thanet and Swale from 10am until 6pm every day until 4 September.