AYRSHIRE residents have been urged to heed the safety advice given out by the RNLI as the warmer spring weather arrives and summer nears.

The plea came from a local MSP after she paid a visit to the RNLI's lifeboat station in Troon.

Established in 1871, the Troon station covers the lower Firth of Clyde with its two lifeboats, the Trent class all-weather vessel 'Jim Moffat' and the D-class inshore lifeboat 'Sheena'.

The crew at Troon Lifeboat Station consists of two permanent members - Evan Gallacher and coxswain Joe Millar - and 24 volunteers.

They said farewell at the end of last month to three departing volunteers - Tommy Taylor, Gregor Baird and Craig O'Neil - but are expecting five new volunteers to be joining the team in the near future. 

Joe, who will soon retire after more than 30 years of service with the RNLI, was recently named Troon's Citizen of the Year for 2022 by the town's community council in recognition of his work in the community.

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Sharon Dowey, a Conservative MSP for the South Scotland region, said: “It was great to visit Troon lifeboat station last week to meet volunteers of the RNLI and discuss the work they do. 

“As one of the busiest stations with 77 callouts last year alone, Troon’s station does a stellar job at informing people on water safety and responding to emergencies when they arise. 

“For anyone heading out into the sea, the safety message that Troon Lifeboat Station delivered is always worth bearing in mind. 

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“They advise to check tide times, avoid offshore winds, and have a waterproof pouch for your phone.

"That way, if you do end up in an emergency at sea, you can quickly dial 999 for the coastguard. 

“It was great to meet the team at Troon lifeboat station, and I would like to thank them for all the work they do in keeping people safe at sea.

“After 30 years of service at Troon lifeboat station, I would also like to thank Joe for his work and wish him a very happy retirement.”