Scottish surfer rescued in Irish Sea

A surfer who had been missing since Sunday has been traced safe and well and is being treated in hospital in Belfast.

Matthew Bryce
Matthew Bryce

Matthew Bryce, 22, has been found in the Irish Sea by the Coastguard, 13 miles from the Argyll coast.

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

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

Chief Inspector Paul Robertson said: “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.”

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.

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