The RNLI has asked people not to take inflatables to the seaside this summer after a spike in call-outs to people needing rescued from dinghies and pool floats.
The increase followed the slight ease in lockdown measures in Scotland.
HM Coastguard regularly sends lifeboats to reports of people being blown out to sea or to collect wayward giant inflatable flamingos or unicorns.
This month alone, RNLI volunteers from Largs, Girvan, Troon, North Berwick and Kinghorn have all responded to help people in trouble due to using inflatables in the sea.
Michael Avril the RNLI’s water safety lead for Scotland, said he understood the appeal of using the floats but reminded people they pose a serious risk to life.
“In Scotland, we often experience strong offshore winds and fast tides which can see somebody dragged far out of their depth in a matter of seconds,” he said.
“At this point, people will often panic and abandon their inflatable which leaves them suddenly immersed in very cold water and at a serious risk of drowning.
“We’d ask the public to please leave the inflatables at home or in a pool this summer, they don’t belong on a beach or in the sea.
“If you do see someone in trouble on an inflatable at the beach call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
The RNLI has also advised people who are considering a trip to the coast to stay familiar with their surroundings and follow the Scottish Government guidelines about remaining within five miles of their home.
People are asked not to put themselves, family and emergency services at risk.
The RNLI said it wants to be clear the easing of lockdown does not mean it is safer at the coast, as water temperatures remain dangerously cold.
The charity will be running a lifeguard service on five of the nation’s beaches this weekend at St Andrews East Sands, Elie, Aberdour Silver Sands, Burntisland and Coldingham Bay.