A volunteer was the hero as he saved a young boy from drifting out to sea.

Andrew Malone sprang into action when the lad was off the North Ayrshire coast on an inflatable LiLow.

Largs RNLI were alerted to the incident when lifeboat operations manager John Griffiths was approached by a concerned member of the public.

John alerted the UK Coastguard and instructed the arriving crew to prepare for a water rescue.

One volunteer crew member, Andrew Malone, took to the water and swam out to the casualty whilst’ the other crew members tended to the safety line.

As the boy was brought closer to the nearby slipway, a second volunteer crew member entered the water to assist in bringing the young boy to the safety of the shore.

The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now.

Get all the local news in your area – plus features, football news and the latest on the coronavirus crisis – at your fingertips 24/7.

The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories while you can customise your page with the sections that matter to you.

The Ayrshire Live app is available to download now on iOS and Android.

Andrew Malone
Andrew Malone

Lifeboat Helm, Neilson Grant – a trained paramedic – spoke with the father and the boy. Although a little shaken, he was safe and well.

Commenting on the rescue, Andrew said: "When I got to the station, our operations manager John said it was a boy on an inflatable LiLow not far from our slipway. I got into my kit and swam out to the LiLow.

"Luckily, the boy was still on the LiLow and not in the water. I got a hold of the inflatable and pulled it back to the slipway where Steve [another crew member] scooped the boy off and back to his dad who had watched the incident unfold from the slip."

John praised the crew for their professionalism and took the opportunity to remind beachgoers as to the danger of inflatables.

John said: "The quick thinking and actions of the volunteer crew averted a serious situation. Andrew was able to reach the boy before he came off the inflatable and the team were able to ensure both he and his father were okay."

He added: "When there is any sort of wind, inflatables can be swept offshore in no time. We would advise against their use at the coast."

Don't miss the latest Ayrshire headlines –sign up to our free daily newsletter here