Surfer Matthew Bryce is now in hospital after spending around 32 hours in the sea off the Argyll coast. Watch the moment he was airlifted to safety
UK Coastguards say that a 22-year-old surfer is “extremely lucky” after he was rescued 13 miles off the coast of Scotland.
Matthew Bryce, from Glasgow, spent more than 30 hours in the sea.
His family reported him missing after he did not return from a surfing trip on Sunday (30 April) off the Argyll coast.
He had paddled out from Machrihanish beach near Campbeltown.
The Belfast Coastguard, which coordinated the search, said Bryce had been in the water since 11:30am on Sunday.
He was found by a UK Coastguard helicopter crew at 7.30pm yesterday (1 May).
RNLI lifeboats from Campbeltown, Islay and Red Bay and Coastguard rescue teams from Campbeltown, Southend, Gigha, Tarbert and Port Ellen were also involved in the search.
Dawn Petrie, from the UK Coastguard, said the Glaswegian surfer was “extremely lucky”.
“He was kitted out with all the right clothing including a thick neoprene suit and this must have helped him to survive for so long at sea,” she said.
Bryce was described as “hypothermic but stable”, and was flown to hospital in Belfast where he is receiving treatment.
Petrie said there were real concerns about whether the surfer would be found.
“Hope was fading of finding the surfer safe and well after such a long period in the water and with nightfall approaching we were gravely concerned but at 7:30pm tonight (1 May), the crew on the coastguard rescue helicopter were delighted when they located the man still with his surfboard and 13 miles off the coast,” she said.
UK Coastguard is now reminding all coastal users to be prepared before going out on the water where conditions can change quickly.
It advises: “Tell someone where you are going and take an appropriate means of raising the alarm in an emergency.”
Reporting by Harry Shepherd