Scottish surfer saved after drifting 30 hours | News | DW | 02.05.2017
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Scottish surfer saved after drifting 30 hours

The British coast guard has rescued a surfer who had gone missing from a Scottish beach and spent more than a day lost at sea. The man was wearing a thick neoprene suit which helped him survive, officials said.

The man, identified by British media as 22-year-old Matthew Bryce from Glasgow, was found some 13 miles (21 kilometers) from the coast. Rescue helicopter crews were "delighted" to spot the surfer and his board with nightfall approaching, coastguard officials said. At that point, he had spent more than 30 hours in the water.

"Hope was fading of finding the surfer safe and well after such a long period," said the search coordinator Dawn Petrie from Belfast Coastguard Operations Center. However, Bryce was wearing quality gear that helped him stay alive and awake, she added.

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

The Scottish man had gone missing after heading out to surf at Machrihanish beach near Campbeltown on Sunday morning. While surfing is not a sport traditionally associated with the British Isles, the UK boasts several busy surf spots on its coast.

The UK coast guard launched a search after the alarm was raised around lunchtime Monday, officials said. Teams from several coastal towns combed "large area of sea and shoreline" before locating the missing man, they added.

The officials urged "all coastal users" to be prepared for unstable weather conditions and inform others before heading out on the water.