A PROMINENT beach environment campaigner, sailor, and burgh surveyor has sadly passed away.

Largs man George Rich was a respected burgh surveyor in the days of the old Largs Town Council, which existed until 1977.

He was well known for his sailing expertise and was a long standing member of Largs Sailing Club from the 1960s onwards, as well as a past commodore and honorary member of the club.

George helped lead the Largs Beachwatch campaign for many years with the late Duncan Winning.

Both George and Duncan were credited with helping to raise the standard of local bathing waters through improved monitoring with electronic display signage next to the beach.

Clear improvement was shown in the quality of Largs beaches, both of which gained recommendations in national surveys as a result of his work.

Both the main Largs beach, and the southern Pencil beach, were recommended in the Marine Conservation Society's Good Beach Guide.

In 2013, friend Duncan paid credit through the News to the local worthy for his endeavours in raising the quality of the beaches.

He said: "This really justifies the setting up of the Largs Beachwatch Group and their efforts at the time, which are now bearing fruit.

"It was all through the efforts of one prime mover - George Rich - who was the former burgh surveyor of the town."

In recent years, George attended the Largs Sailing Club 80th anniversary celebrations at the clubhouse.

Largs Sailing Club paid tribute to him earlier this week.

A spokesperson said: "We very much regret to announce the passing on Friday 3 May of George Rich, long standing member of Largs SC from the 1960s, a past commodore and with Gordon McLaren, a founding member of the LSC Cruising Group.

"He was also a cruising instructor, inspiring and encouraging many of us to venture out of the Clyde, leading our extended summer cruises in company round the Mull to Tobermory and beyond. He was also a volunteer and for some years the office manager for Ocean Youth Club (now Ocean Youth Trust) Scotland.

"In his early membership, George sailed and raced his Loch Long “Flamingo”; more recently, he cruised the wonderful west coast in his Moody 31 “Fiona”.

"Many of us have very personal memories of George, including one from Marilyn Robertson, who recalls George piping Corshyecan out of Tobermory Harbour on their first trip beyond Ardnamurchan.

"Our thoughts at this time are with George's family and friends."

The funeral is on Thursday 9 May at 3pm in the Clyde (Haylie Brae) Crematorium and afterwards back at Largs Sailing club.

All members are invited to attend.