LIFEBOATS at Troon launched 83 times last year according to new figures released by the RNLI.

The all-weather and inshore lifeboats at Troon also rescued five people and assisted 42 others.

The figures were revealed in the RNLI’s recently published annual statistics, which also showed that 1,185 lifeboat launches took place across Scotland.

David Shaw, lifeboat operations manager at Troon Lifeboat station, said: “In 2018 our callouts were varied, from towing in pleasure craft and fishing vessels, persons in difficulty, drifting inflatables and missing person searches. When the pager sounds, the lifeboat crew never know what to expect.

“During 2018, our lifeboat crews worked hand in hand with other services including the several Coastguard rescue teams, the Coastguard helicopter R199 from Prestwick, Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“Even though the crew are always ready to respond we would like to ask the public to make safety a priority, whether that means wearing a lifejacket, checking their vessel before they go afloat, checking the tide times before they set out, or staying away from cliff edges and unstable coastal paths.

“As we rely on donations, we could not have done all this without the generosity of the general public who support the RNLI and attend our various fundraising events throughout the year. The Lifeboat Crew extend a thank you to everyone who has supported us in 2018.

“Lastly, we would also like to thank our families for their continued support and understanding.

“Without them our lifeboat crew could not do what they do, often being left at a moment’s notice, never knowing what the crew are going to face.”