At 11.54am on Friday 28 June 2019, Belfast Coastguard paged the lifeboat crew following reports of an inflatable drifting out to sea at South Beach, Troon.
D class inshore lifeboat Sheena and Trent class all-weather lifeboat
RNLB Jim Moffat were launched to the scene to assist the Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team.
While heading to the scene, a white object in the distance towards Lady Isle. The inshore lifeboat headed to this object and established it to be a large inflatable unicorn with no persons on board. At this point the inflatable was 1.5 nautical miles from the shore.
Due to this a search was undertaken from South Beach to Lady Isle as there were concerns that someone may be in the water in difficulty. On the beach the Coastguard team tracked down the original reporter who notified the Coastguard for further information and tried to locate the inflatables owner on the busy beach.
Thankfully the owner of the inflatable was located on the beach by the Coastguard Team and confirmed that no-one was on board and that the inflatable had been empty.
With this information the lifeboats returned to station where they were made ‘ready for service’ with assistance of the shore crew.
Vincent McWhirter, Community Safety Officer for Troon RNLI Lifeboat said 'Inflatable toys are not suitable for use at the beach and we would urge people not to take them to the beach. These toys are more suitable for the pool as they are easily blown by the wind and can quickly move offshore.
'If you do choose to take them to the beach, these toys should be securely tied to the shore, and they should not be used when the wind is blowing away from the beach.
'If you spot an inflatable drifting at sea, or one you are using gets blown away, you should report it to the Coastguard on 999, giving as much information as possible.'
RNLI Media contacts:
Andrew Limond, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Troon Lifeboat Station, 01292 314414 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639,
Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929,
RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
Learn more about the RNLI
For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.