COASTGUARD volunteers on Cumbrae have shared their delight at several positive steps for their team as the new year looms large.

The News previously reported on the appointment of three new members of the team, announced at a meeting of Cumbrae Community Council in October.

The new recruits are set to start training in the new year, and will be trained in skills including water rescue, mud rescue, emergency casualty care, lost and missing person searches, pyrotechnics and ordnance response, and 4x4 driving.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: The new recruits (not pictured in this photo) will undergo training in the New YearThe new recruits (not pictured in this photo) will undergo training in the New Year (Image: Cumbrae Coastguard Rescue Team)

And deputy station officer John Wright has more positive news to share with the community - after revealing to the News that the island team is set to move into its new station in a matter of weeks.

John told the News: "The next stop for [the new recruits] is a full week of core skills training at our coastal operations base in Greenock in February next year.

"The three that are joining us have a good spread of background, experience and life skills behind them, so as soon as they have gone through their first week of training, our intention is to do a welcome to the team update for the community.

"The volunteers can be as available as they want to be. There is a balance to be struck but we recognise that they will be in at the deep end if they have not anything like this before.

"We also expect to be at our new station on the island at the beginning of the new year so they join us at a really exciting time.

"Previously we had been one out of three or four teams in the UK who don't have dedicated stations, so for us to get one on Cumbrae is a pretty significant development for us.

"We just need to be mindful that what they are getting into meets their expectations and vice versa."

READ MORE: Cumbrae's coastguard rescue set to welcome three new faces

The organisation has struggled to find a suitable dedicated base for several years - but once their new facility is open, which they hope will be in January, the plan is to celebrate with an open day for local organisations later in 2024.

And John had only one message to send out to the new volunteers and islanders ahead of the winter season kicking in.

He added: "I think the most important message to the new recruits would be to let the voluntary experience work for you.

"You can do as much as you like, and get involved with all kinds of extra things. It is a lifestyle change, but it is massively exciting and rewarding.

"And furthermore we hope that the community are able to give them the biggest and warmest welcome."

To follow updates and for more information visit Cumbrae Coastguard Rescue Team on Facebook.