Surfer rescued after 32 hours stranded at sea may surf again

A SURFER rescued after more than 30 hours stranded at sea has revealed he may return to the sport.

Matthew Bryce recovering in hospital after 32-hour ordeal at sea. Picture: BBC News\ PA
Matthew Bryce recovering in hospital after 32-hour ordeal at sea. Picture: BBC News\ PA

Matthew Bryce, 22, was treated for hypothermia after he was found drifting on his surfboard in the North 
Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Mr Bryce said in a news-paper interview yesterday that he lost 5kg in the water as he passed in and out of consciousness, and added that being stranded was a vision of hell.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said: “The night was horrible. It was just... nothing. There is only blackness. It’s like how I imagine hell. 
Nothing can hear you, it doesn’t matter how hard you scream. You are alone.

“As far as the world is concerned, you don’t exist.”

As the sun began to set on his second day of drifting, he said he accepted that he would not survive. He said: “Everyone dies. It wasn’t going to be a painful death. I’d had time to evaluate my life.

“Yes, there were missed opportunities and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with how I had left things with people but not many people get to leave things the way they want.”

He added: “I knew I was going to pass out and drown. There are worse deaths.”

After his ordeal he vowed never to surf again but has now said he may get back on a surfboard as part of a group.He has said he will never surf alone again and urged all surfers to invest in personal locator beacons which broadcast an emergency distress signal to help rescue services find those in trouble at sea.

Mr Bryce, from Airdrie, spent 32 hours adrift and thought he was going to die before being found by a helicopter.

His family reported him missing when he failed to return from a morning surf off the Argyll coast on 30 April.

He was found by a search and rescue helicopter at 7.30pm the following day.

Mr Bryce said he could return to the sport once his feet and fingers recover from the exposure, after friends from Argyll offered to go out as a group.

He said: “My feet apparently would not be able to handle the water temperature. When they are better I will maybe consider going out with them as a group, I will never go surfing alone.”

Mr Bryce is backing the campaign of a woman whose brother died kayaking in the north of Scotland this year.

Ellie Jackson is raising funds to promote the use of personal locator beacons for watersports in memory of her brother Dominic Jackson.