A woman and child were blown out to sea after setting off in a blow-up boat to retrieve a drone off Ardrossan’s North Shore.
The Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI Troon Lifeboat rushed to the scene just after 7.30pm last night.
The Coastguard spotted the orange inflatable ‘a considerable distance out to sea’ and confirmed with family members on the shore that neither the woman nor the child had a life jacket or flotation device.
The pair had set out to sea in an attempt to recover a drone which had landed on the water.
Troon Lifeboat sped to the location and was able to contact the stranded woman on her phone, offering her reasurrance and safety advice til they arrived.
Because of the conditions and time spent at sea, an ambulance was called and met the lifeboat as it arrived at Ardrossan Marina with the Coastguard team assisting.
Thankfully, neither the woman and child did not require further medeical attention.
A spokesperson for the Coastguard said: “This is the seventh incident in August alone which the team has responded to involving people being blown out to sea on inflatables.
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“We cannot stress enough the dangers of inflatables at the coast especially when combined with offshore winds. The vast majority of inflatables are designed for the swimming pool – not the sea.
“The team has a long history of dealing with inflatable incidents over recent years including unicorns, swans, sun loungers and small toy boats with numerous people requiring to be rescued, with some of these incidents putting people’s lives in imminent danger.
“We want people to enjoy their time at the coast and remember their visit for all the right reasons – not the wrong ones. Unfortunately, the message regarding inflatables and setting out to sea in offshore winds doesn’t seem to be getting through.”
None of the incidents this month involved fatalities or serious injuries, which the Coastguard puts down to speedy action by bystanders in calling on them and the Lifeboat to aid.
Speaking after the incident Troon RNLI lifeboat Coxswain Joe Millar said: “These inflatable toys are not suitable for use at the coast. They are easily blown by the wind and can quickly move offshore. Our advice is to leave them at home and not use them at sea.”
Coastguard Rescue Teams and RNLI Lifeboat crews are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In a coastal, beach or cliff emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
A spokesperson said: “If you see someone at risk or in difficulty at sea or along the coast, please don’t hesitate.”