A surfer paddles out - Photo: Getty /  Ian McDonnell

A surfer paddles out

A surfer, who had been missing for almost two days, has been found. 23 year-old Matthew Bryce was picked up by the coastguard, 13 miles from the coast of Argyll, in the west of Scotland where he started surfing.

Bryce had been missing since early on Sunday morning, where he was seen in the St Catherines area of Argyll, believed to have been heading to the nearby Machrihanish beach.

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The next time Bryce was seen was around 11.30 on Sunday morning, spotted by Belfast coastguard. He was eventually found at 19.30 on Monday evening, having been at sea for over 30 hours.

Dawn Petrie, from the coastguard told the press “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." Bryce’s condition has now been confirmed as being stable.

"Staying with his surfboard certainly aided his survival."

Petrie, from the Maritime and Coastguard agency in Belfast, added “[Bryce] was extremely lucky. He did the right thing by staying with his surfboard and that certainly aided his survival."

“"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, 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."

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It’s clear that Bryce was very fortunate to be found, and it’s once again proves the invaluable service that the Coastguard provide. If you’re planning on enjoying the coast this summer, be prepared before you go out on the water, where conditions can change quickly. Always tell someone where you are going and take an appropriate means of raising the alarm in an emergency.

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