Surfers and a club representing a surfing rescue group have appealed to councillors to oppose the introduction of planned new bye-laws that could prohibit the use of jet skis or fast power crafts on some of Co Clare's beaches.

Following an increase in beach rescues associated with children's inflatable toys and complaints regarding the improper use of jet skis, the local authority in Co Clare is planning to ban the use of inflatable toys, on water, at all beaches.

It is also planning to restrict the use of fast power crafts on a number of beaches. Included on the list is Spanish Point and White Strand Beach.

But the plans have been met with resistance from surfers and the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club. The club has written to Councillors in County Clare asking them to oppose the new bye-laws.

In the letter, the secretary of the club, Peter Conroy, said: "Jetskis/Personal Water Crafts (PWCs) are not just a pleasure craft to everyone, but a rescue tool to a lot of people on the west coast of Ireland.

"We help promote water safety and the correct use of PWCs by offering rescue jet ski courses to surfers, lifeguards and rescue agency's."

Mr Conroy added: "We as club members work hard to maintain our skills and certificates by training as much a as we can. In order to achieve competency in these skills we use Spanish Point and White Strand beaches for training courses as they are the best training beaches on the west coast."

Appealing to Clare County Councillors, Mr Conroy said: "We are asking you to vote no to the proposed plans raised by the Council to ban the use of PWCs in the revised beach bye-laws as it will drastically affect our members who have never had a complaint made against them in both locations. We do not see the logic of prohibiting PWCs from use in these locations."

Mr Conroy said that the coastline of west and north Clare is renowned for big wave surfing and attracts international surfers every year.

He said that the club and its members not only provide a rescue service to surfers but also to other boat and beach users during the year.

A spokesperson for Clare County Council said: "The draft bye-laws are not scheduled to go before the Councillors for adoption until May at the earliest and it would be premature to comment on the issues raised as they may be subject to change."