THERE was an explosion on Irvine Beach today after a device was found buried in the sand.

The beach had to be cleared at lunchtime today (Tuesday, November 7) as bomb disposal teams from the Royal Navy came to conduct a controlled explosion.

The Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, who were also in attendance alongside the Ayr Coastguard Rescue Team had been working with the Royal Navy over the past two days in response to devices discovered on the beach.

Following the initial callout on Monday afternoon, the items in question were located and identified as possible ordnance, with arrangements being made for the Royal Navy Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team to attend from Faslane Naval Base.

The teams returned again today at the same location to coincide with the receding tide in a bid to expose the buried explosives.

The decision was made by the Royal Navy to setup an extended cordon and carry out a controlled explosion to completely destroy the objects.

A spokesman for Ardrossan Coastguard said: "We have seen an increase in suspected ordnance being located along the coastline between Irvine and Barassie.

"We continue to urge the public if they find something on the coast which they think could be a maritime distress flare to not touch or move it, clearly mark it's location or identify a nearby landmark, and do immediately dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

"Coastguard Rescue Teams are specially trained and equipped to deal with maritime distress flares and also work closely with the military in response to ordnance washed up along the coastline."