A child was blown out to sea on an inflatable unicorn while at a beach on Sunday afternoon prompting an emergency response.
Shortly before 4pm on Sunday afternoon the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team were tasked alongside Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team, Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 199 and Troon RNLI Lifeboat to respond to the incident at Stevenston Beach.
When the teams arrived on the scene, the child had been helped to shore by a paddle boarder and jet skier who were in the vicinity and had seen the incident unfold.
Coastguard rescue teams provided initial casualty care for the young child with the team also setting up a helicopter landing site, allowing the coastguard rescue helicopter to safely land on the beach to drop off their two paramedics to provide additional medical care had it been required.
Due to the quick actions of the paddle boarder and jet skier, the young child did not require further treatment and was reunited with their family, but the incident has resulted in the coastguard team urging the public to leave inflatables at home.
Kevin Paterson, station officer of the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, said: “We continue to urge the public to leave inflatables at home when visiting the coast – they are designed for the swimming pool, not the sea.
“This incident highlights once again the dangers and how a sudden change in wind direction can quickly turn a pleasant afternoon at the beach into a serious emergency situation.
“The first informant was praised by MRCC Belfast for recognising the incident unfolding, quickly dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard and crucially being able to provide vital information to help identify the exact location so the right rescue resources could be sent to help.
“The quick thinking of the paddle boarder and the jet skier also undoubtedly had a significant positive impact on this incident and we extend our thanks to everyone who was able to assist.
“If you’re thinking of heading to the coast and bringing an inflatable with you, please think again and leave them at home. We want everyone to remember their trip to the coast for all the right reasons, not the wrong ones.
“It’s also crucial people know who to call in a coastal emergency as seconds count and any delay in the right rescue resources being tasked can have a significant impact on the outcome. If you see someone at risk or in difficulty at sea or along the coast, always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”