IRVINE’S Coastwatch team are appealing for new volunteers to sign up to their team.

With the good weather already here and the summer season almost upon us, Coastwatch is looking to beef up its volunteer force.

The organisation was founded in Irvine eight years ago as an independent, non-governmental, coastal monitoring and safety organisation.

Coastwatch Scotland is run entirely by volunteers who give up a few hours each week to learn how to keep watch on coastal waters, beaches and harbours and how to keep a listening watch on the international distress frequency, in support of search and rescue operations.

The team also monitors wildlife in the area and report any problems to the relevant organisations as well as organising and taking part in regular beach clean ups.

Head of the unit Billy Lamb told the Times this week: “We really are in need of more volunteers.

“In the past few weeks we have been particularly busy with people flocking to the beach, harbourside and Beach Park to enjoy the good weather.

“We’ve had to assist in situations involving people being blown out to sea on inflatables and other such emergencies.

“Every day is different but it’s a very rewarding job.”

Coastwatch Scotland volunteers receive training in basics of visual and radio watch keeping, incident reporting, ship recognition, the understanding of charts and more

The service hopes to build up a core of volunteers to train as Watch-keepers, age 16 and over.

There is no experience required to join, just an interest in learning new skills and helping to keep our community safe.

Their training syllabus offers the chance to gain Royal Yachting Association qualifications in VHF Marine Radio communications and First Aid. And their in-house syllabus offers training in Charts, OS Maps etc.

If you would like to become a Coastwatch volunteer, please call Billy Lamb on 07526225835.