Helicopters and boats conducted a dramatic rescue when a boy was blown a mile out to sea north of Culzean Castle.

Girvan lifeboat responded to reports that a small child in an inflatable dingy had been blown out to sea at Croy Shore, just North of Culzean Castle, at around 2.22pm yesterday.

The RNLI Girvan lifeboat arrived at the scene as did a UK Coastguard Rescue vessel and two helicopters from the Royal Navy and Coastguard Rescue teams from Girvan and Ayr.

A spokesperson for RNLI said: "In this instance the inflatable has been used before by the family safely many times and is usually tethered to the shore, but the over exuberant young lad ran and hopped in before it was tethered, by this time it was too late and it was caught by the wind, it only takes seconds and can happen to anyone in the blink of an eye."

The child's parents and bystanders attempted to swim to reach the inflatable, but were unable to and so returned to the beach to call the emergency services.

Girvan lifeboat located the small inflatable and casualty approximately one mile offshore and recovered both.

The child was assessed by RNLI's casualty care trained crew as the lifeboat returned to Girvan and the child was handed over to the Scottish Ambulance Service for further assessment and treatment.

The child sustained no injuries.

Girvan Lifeboat Coxwain/mechanic Callum Govus said: ”This incident could have ended up so much worse, with the potential for multiple casualties.

"Please heed the advice repeatedly advertised and posted by the RNLI, HM Coastguard and other official bodies: inflatables are toys, they are not intended for the sea or open water, please keep them for the pool in a supervised location.

"It only takes a few moments with a change in tide or gust or change in direction of wind to carry an inflatable far out to sea. If you think you see someone in trouble on the coast or at sea dial 999 straight away and ask for the coastguard.”

This is the second callout during the coronavirus lockdown, with Troon RNLI rescuing three people from a vessel when its engine failed.

Ayr Advertiser: Three people rescued by Troon RNLI from a boat with a failed engine.Three people rescued by Troon RNLI from a boat with a failed engine.

An RNLI spokesperson said: "We ask that the travel guidelines are adhered to in relation to travelling to the beach or coast, and if you are near the coast or at sea, please think about your trip or activity - Is it necessary? Could I be putting myself or others at risk?"

RNLI's fundraising activities remain impacted but their crews are on call 24/7 ready to respond to the next call for help.