Surfer found alive after spending 32 HOURS out at sea

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

A surfer who went missing on Sunday has been found safe and well – 13 miles from land.

Matthew Bryce, 22, was stranded on the waters off the Argyll coast for an astonishing 32 hours before he was rescued by the Coastguard.

He had been missing since he was last seen at around 9am on Sunday in the St Catherines area of Argyll, Scotland, and was believed to be heading to Westport Beach near Campbeltown.

Mr Bryce, from Glasgow, was taken to Belfast Hospital to be checked over.

Matthew Bryce was found 13 miles off the Argyll coast (Geograph)

Coastguard rescue teams from Campbeltown, Southend, Gigha, Tarbert and Port Ellen – as well as the Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Prestwick – were involved in the search.

Dawn Petrie at Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre who co-ordinated 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.

“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.

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“He is hypothermic but conscious and has been flown to hospital in Belfast.”

Chief Inspector Paul Robertson added: “The response to our appeal to find Matthew has been outstanding.

“It has been a real team effort and I would like to thank everyone who offered their assistance.”

Top pic: PA