A CHILD or pet could sink in dangerous quicksands thought to be caused by a combine harvester churning up sand on Seamill beach, according to a dog walker.

Elaine Campbell says that a farmer ploughing the beach to clean his machinery blades is disturbing the sand and making it susceptible to absorbing water.

She fears that it’s only a matter of time before someone gets into serious trouble on the sand behind the Waterside Hotel.

Elaine said: “I just want to warn people about this because it’s really, really dangerous. It’s like quicksand. If a child walks on that they’re going down. If a dog walks on that, the dog’s history. Horses too could sink. I take a Labrador on walks down there and if he went down I wouldn’t be able to pull him out.

“I don’t know if the farmer’s aware what he’s doing is causing this. I’ve phoned the council but they’re not bothering.

“It’s about three-four feet deep. Believe me it’s very scary. I lost my shoes in it last year, a lady last week lost her trainers. What worries me is what would happen if a child sunk in? It’s frightening.”

Members of the community recently expressed their fears about apparent quicksand at Seamill beach on the Herald’s Facebook page

One woman said that her dog’s four paws “sunk in”; another person claimed he had lost his trainer and had sunk up to his knees at high tide.

Another resident said: “My friend had to be pulled out as her foot was jammed and getting sucked downwards. Thank you to the man who pulled her out as it was getting to be a scary and desperate situation.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We take this issue very seriously and carried out an investigation at the beach quickly after being alerted to the situation.

“The inspection confirmed that the sand had been ploughed and we have since spoken to the responsible individual who has apologised and assured us that this will not be repeated.

“When sand is ploughed, it can cause temporary issues with the stability of the sand although this usually passes within a few days once the water has washed over the area. Whilst we continue to monitor the ploughed area as it continues to settle back to normal, we are erecting signs to alert beach users to be careful and to not use the affected area in the meantime.

“We would like to thank the member of the public who drew this to our attention.”