A SOLO yachtsman had a lucky escape on Saturday morning after his vessel sank near to Ardrossan Harbour.

The Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team was alerted to the incident shortly after 11.30pm when they were paged to reports of a vessel aground near the entrance to Ardrossan Harbour.

The lone sailor successfully managed to make it to safety prior to arrival of the emergency services, however, despite valiant efforts of everyone involved, the 25 foot yacht could not be saved and sank.

A spokesperson for the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team said: “The team was called out just after 11.30pm to reports of a boat on the rocks just south of the entrance to Ardrossan Harbour.

“The team attended immediately and once on scene, quickly established the only person that was on board the vessel was now safely ashore and not requiring any medical assistance.

“The RNLI Lifeboat from Troon was also proceeding to the incident with everyone’s focus turning to saving the stricken vessel, which was taking on water after suffering extensive damage to the hull due to banging off the rocks by the rough incoming tide.

“Despite the efforts of the team and our Lifeboat colleagues, the vessel couldn’t be saved and sunk beneath the waves.

“The Troon Inshore Lifeboat crew successfully managed to get a line attached onto the vessel, which was passed to the team to secure the sunken boat the shoreline, mitigating the risk of it drifting out to sea and becoming a hazard to other vessels.

“The yacht was recovered later that evening by a professional salvage company organised by the owner.

“We continue to advise the public that in a coastal, beach or cliff emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”