RNLI warn beach-goers to leave inflatables at home following spike in callouts

Troon crew recovering inflatables Image: RNLI Troon

THE RNLI have issued a warning to Scots asking them to  leave their inflatable toys in the pool or at home this summer.

The advice comes after a spike in shouts to inflatable dinghies and flamingos as lockdown eases slightly across Scotland.

The lifesaving charity have warned of the dangers of being swept out to see following calls at  Largs, Girvan, Troon, North Berwick and Kinghorn.

Michael Avril the RNLI’s Water Safety Lead for Scotland says: “We understand the appeal of inflatables, they are prolific on social media, however, they pose a serious risk to life if used at the coast.

“In Scotland we often experience strong offshore winds and fast tides which can see somebody dragged far out of their depth in a matter of seconds.

Sea crew
Image: Kinghorn RNLI

“At this point, people will often panic and abandon their inflatable which leaves them suddenly immersed in very cold water and at a serious risk of drowning.

“We’d ask the public to please leave the inflatables at home or in a pool this summer, they don’t belong on a beach or in the sea.

“If you do see someone in trouble on an inflatable at the beach call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

The RNLI also urged sun-seekers to stay local and follow Scottish Government advice of remaining within five miles of  home.

The charity will be running a lifeguard service on five of the nation’s beaches this weekend: St Andrews East Sands, Elie, Aberdour Silver Sands, Burntisland and Coldingham Bay.