THE Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team are continuing to advise the public that it is imperative the correct emergency service is contacted at the appropriate time.

It’s after the team were deployed to Irvine beach last week following reports of possible flares being washed up.

The information was initially received via an e-mail to Police Scotland late in the evening and due to tide conditions and darkness, the decision was made for an early morning deployment which cost the team crucial time.

Washed up maritime distress flares do pose a risk to the public and are classed as a coastal emergency.

The appropriate course of action if a distress flare or possible ordnance is found along the coast is to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard immediately.

This way the relevant information can be taken by their highly trained search and rescue coastguard operations centre staff and the suitable resources deployed to the location.

Delays in the right emergency service being contacted can have a significant impact on the outcome of an incident.