The two children had got into difficulty while swimming at the popular beach south of Wicklow Head, and their mother rushed to their aid – only for the three of them to be swept into a nearby cave.
The Wicklow lifeboat followed shortly after, and helm Graham Fitzgerald brought the rescue vessel close to shore where the lifeboat crew spotted three people and the winchman in a cave.
Weather conditions in the area were windy, with a southerly Force 4 and high breaking surf at the mouth of the cave.
After an assessment by the winchman and lifeboat helm, it was decided that the winchman would lead the casualties to the adjoining cave, as rocks at the entrance would impede getting the boat close to shore.
Once the casualties were in the other cave, the lifeboat crew brought the boat onto the beach and all three were transferred to the lifeboat along with the coastguard winchman.
The mother and her two daughters were believed to have been on a day trip to the beach when they decided to go for a swim and one of them got into difficultly. Her sister had tried to help, but also got into trouble.
The mother then entered the water to help her daughters, which resulted in all three of them ending up in the cave.
The winchman, a trained paramedic, assessed the three casualties on the lifeboat and they were brought to Wicklow Harbour, where they were given hot drinks.
Wicklow RNLI were involved in a similar rescue at Silver Stand in 2014 when the lifeboat was called out to rescue a woman who had been swept into a cave after getting into difficulty swimming.