Surfer Rescued off Scottish Coast After 30 Hours at Sea

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 1021d ago

After more than 30 hours floating off the west coast of Scotland, surfer Matthew Bryce has been rescued and taken to hospital.

The 22-year-old had been out for a morning paddle on Sunday in the St Catherine's area of Argyll – heading to Westport Beach near Campbletown.

The alarm was raised after he did not return to shore. A huge search operation, which scoured the coastline for any sign of Matthew, was launched on Sunday evening. Matt was eventually picked up by a coastguard helicopter yesterday around 7.30pm and flown to Belfast hospital to be checked over. It's understood he's recovering from hypothermia.

Dawn Petrie, from the Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre who helped co-ordinate the search on Monday, said: "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 the crew on the Coastguard rescue helicopter were delighted when they located the man still with his surf board and 13 miles off the coast.

Matthew had been aiming for Westport beach, on a day when it's probably not looking like this.

Matthew had been aiming for Westport beach, on a day when it's probably not looking like this.

© 2020 - Muda Ucker

"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.''

Rescuers added that the reason Matt was able to survive was because he was on his board. Chief Inspector Paul Robertson said: "It has been a real team effort and I would like to thank everyone who offered their assistance."

Cover shot: Ross Laird//Vision Events