A new public rescue system has been installed at Loch Doon thanks to joint funding efforts.

Funding from local landowner Drax and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service meant that the new Portsafe system could be installed.

The public access rescue system is a 17-metre extendable pole that can be used from the shore.

The emergency services must be contacted for a code to access the equipment and are therefore immediately alerted to any drowning incident.

Loch Doon water safety dayLoch Doon water safety day (Image: East Ayrshire Council)

Aimed at stopping any potential incidents at the popular location, the system was shown to youngsters as part the annual outdoor water safety day at Loch Doon.

Over 250 children and young people from primary and secondary schools within East Ayrshire have taken part this year.

Across Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service regularly respond to emergency calls from people who have witnessed someone getting into difficulty in open water and tragically, in 2023 there were 94 water-related fatalities.

The training sessions, which were held over three days, were informative and hands-on, allowing the children and young people to safely learn about the hidden hazards within and around the water and how to correctly use the life-saving equipment strategically positioned around the loch.

Loch Doon water safety dayLoch Doon water safety day (Image: East Ayrshire Council)

Ian McMeekin, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's Local Senior Officer for East, North and South Ayrshire Area Commander said: “We want people of all ages to be safe around water and to understand the risks and prevent drowning.

“We are fully committed to working with partner organisations to deliver training to educate the public.

“We work in partnership with Water Safety Scotland, a national voluntary association of organisations and individuals, aims to understand the risks around water in Scotland and prevent water-related incidents.

“The key safety message is to follow the 3-step Water Safety Code and remember that water is still very cold, even on warm days.

“If you are having difficulty in water, lie on your back, spread your arms and legs until the initial effects of cold water shock pass in around 90 seconds, and float to live.

“If a member of the public sees someone else in trouble in the water, they should never enter the water to attempt a rescue. They should call 999 immediately and request the emergency services.”