The Royal Navy was forced to carry out a controlled explosion on Irvine beach after an item believed to be military ordnance was found on the Ayrshire coastline yesterday.

Police and the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team raced to the scene where the first informant had found the object in question.

Given the vast expanse of Irvine beach, the first informant had utilised the What3Words app which assisted the police and coastguard to quickly find and locate the object.

As the object was located above the high-water mark, Police Scotland contacted the Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) from the military, with the coastguard and police setting up a suitable cordon on the beach to provide a safe working area and to minimise any risk to the public.

Police and the coastguard team remained on scene until the arrival of EOD from the Royal Navy who conducted a controlled explosion of the object where it was found, with the team expanding the cordon to over 200m to ensure public safety.

With the object disposed, the cordon was lifted and all resources were stood down.

A spokesperson for the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team said: "We continue to advise the public of the following if they find something along the coast which they think could be a discarded maritime distress flare or ordnance:

· Do not touch or move the item

· Keep a safe distance at all times

· Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard immediately

· Provide as much information as possible including exact location

"It is not uncommon for suspect items to be washed up along the coast especially following spells of bad weather.

"If you are venturing for a walk along the coast just now for exercise in line with the current COVID restrictions then please take care, stay safe and if in doubt – get us out."