A MEMBER of the public had to be rescued near the entrance of Ayr Harbour after they came into difficulty in an inflatable kayak.

At around 2.50pm on Sunday, July 1, Troon Lifeboat Crew were paged to Ayr Harbour by the Belfast Coastguard and officers from Police Scotland had also been notified and were attending the incident along with Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team.

The inshore lifeboat arrived at Ayr and the crew were directed towards the casualty and the inflatable kayak.

With the Police and Coastguard team on the harbourside, and the inshore lifeboat now on scene, the casualty paddled towards some steps and was assisted ashore by the crew and coastguard personnel.

The casualty, who was not wearing a lifejacket and not suitably equipped to head to sea, was given some safety advice and decided not to venture back out on their new purchase.

The Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, who are working alongside both the Troon Lifeboat Crew and the Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team have recently been campaigning to stop the public from using inflatables out at see.

A spokesman from the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, said: “We continue to plead with the public to leave these inflatable toys and boats at home. 

“They are not designed for use at sea or at the coast. In the past four weeks the team has responded to a considerable number of inflatable-related callouts which has seen over seven people being rescued by Coastguard Rescue Teams and Lifeboats.

“The sea can offer excitement and adventure but it’s also fraught with danger. If you are undertaking water sports in the sea we would always urge everyone to use suitable equipment, under take some form of training, have a means of calling for help and always to wear a life jacket of a Personal Floatation Device (PFD).

“We don’t want to keep repeating ourselves, but it seems the message just isn’t being understood.

“These inflatables toys and boats are putting lives at risk and are not suitable for use at the coast.

“Please heed the warnings and leave these inflatable toys at home if you’re heading for the coast - it’s just not worth the risk.”