AYRSHIRE'S search and rescue unit responded to more than 300 call-outs last year.

Crews based at the Royal Navy's HMS Gannet in Prestwick came to the aid of 327 people in 2013, according to new figures.

The base's three Sea King Mark 5 aircraft were called out to 329 incidents, making it the second busiest search and rescue unit in the UK, after RAF Valley on Anglesey in Wales.

The figure is up from 298 call-outs in 2012, when a total of 285 people were rescued.

HMS Gannet covers an area of around 98,000 square miles, including northern England, Northern Ireland, southern, central and western Scotland, and 200 miles out into the Atlantic.