Dinghy sailors are being warned to make sure someone on shore knows of their plans when they make an open water crossing after a multi-agency search in Scotland

Dinghy sailors and other small craft operators are being reminded to let others know of their plans when heading out into open water after a multi-agency search in Scotland.

The Ardrossan and Ayr Coastguard Rescue Teams were initially called out on Saturday evening (22 July) to search for the two dinghy sailors after a member of the public raised the alarm.

The two sailors had left Prestwick on Saturday morning and had failed to return.

Girvan and Arran Coastguard Rescue Team, volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews from RNLI Troon Lifeboat, Arran and Girvan Lifeboat and the crew of the Rescue 199 Search and Rescue helicopter were also tasked to search 40 miles of the Ayrshire coastline and also carried out an extensive sea search.

During the search, two dinghies were spotted on the shoreline at Sandbrae in the village of Whiting Bay, Aaran.

Enquiries established that these were the two missing vessels and it was quickly established that the two dinghy sailors were safe and well.

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The search teams were stood down at 6am and returned to station.

Arran RNLI helm, Martin Wood, stressed the importance of informing others of plans before sailors head out into open water.

“We were all very relieved when we spotted the dinghies on the shore at Sanbraes which had obviously been stowed overnight. It was a great conclusion to the search,” he said.

“We would like to remind everyone that when they are planning an open water crossing, particularly in a small craft such as sailing dinghies or kayaks, that they should have a contact on shore who is aware of their plans or make the coastguard aware of their passage plans and estimated time of arrival,” stressed Wood.

A spokesman for Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team said: “This call was classed as a False Alarm with Good Intent and we want to thank the member of the public who raised concerns due to the passage of time and the sailing boats not having returned.”

“We would always urge the public to contact the Coastguard with any concerns they have for people at sea or on the coast – we’d much rather be called out and not needed than being called out when it’s too late,” added the spokesman.