Glasgow & West Scotland

Girl on inflatable unicorn swept out to sea off Irvine

Screen grab from Ardrossan Coastguard Facebook page Image copyright Ardrossan Coastguard

A young girl and her father had to be rescued after she was blown out to sea on an inflatable unicorn.

The incident happened at Irvine Beach Park in Ayrshire on Saturday, when coastguards spotted a girl being carried "some distance" from the shore.

Her father then swam out to try and reach her.

Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team contacted colleagues in Belfast to summon extra resources, while the Troon Lifeboat was also launched.

In a Facebook update, the coastguard said: "As the team were preparing for an immediate snatch rescue, the person (the father) had reached the young girl who was now in the water with the inflatable having blown away out to sea, and was making attempts to get back to shore."

A rescuer in full water rescue kit went into the sea to help the pair get back to the shore safely.

The casualties, who had swallowed sea water, were given first aid, checked over by paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.

Kevin Paterson, station officer for the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, said: "This was an incredibly lucky escape for the young girl and her father after a sunny day at the beach quickly turned into an emergency.

He added: "These inflatables should only be used in swimming pools where there's no risk of being blown out to sea and there's lifeguards on duty."