Belfast Telegraph

Surfer leaves hospital after 'remarkable' recovery from 30-hour ordeal at sea

A surfer rescued after more than 30 hours stranded at sea has been discharged from hospital after making a "remarkable" recovery.

Matthew Bryce, 22, has been treated for hypothermia after he was found drifting on his surfboard in the North Channel - 13 miles from Northern Ireland and 16 miles from Scottish shores - on Monday May 1.

The Scot praised the medical care he received at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Belfast, as "second to none" as he was discharged from the unit.

Mr Bryce, from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, thanked everyone involved in his treatment "for all the love, care and support shown to me through this particularly traumatic experience".

He added: "To each and every one of you, thank-you very much."

His parents John and Isabella also thanked the public for the many get well wishes sent to their son.

They too praised the medical treatment he received, saying: "The staff here in the Ulster Hospital have been so thoughtful, kind and considerate, and this has helped make a traumatic experience for us much more bearable. They helped turn a negative experience into a positive one."

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, which released the statements, said: "Matthew Bryce has made a remarkable recovery and has now been treated and discharged from the Ulster Hospital."

Mr Bryce, who has vowed never to surf again, recently told how he thought he was going to die just moments before he was found by a helicopter.

He was reported missing by his family when he failed to return from a Sunday morning surf off the Argyll coast of Scotland.

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

As the sun began to set on a second night at sea, Mr Bryce told how he thought he had just hours to live and had "made peace" with himself.

He told BBC News: ''I knew I had maybe three hours and I was pretty certain that I was going to die with that sunset.

''So I was watching the sunset and I'd pretty much made peace with it all and then a helicopter flew right over.

''So I jumped off the board and I lifted the board up and I started waving the board in the water and they flew right over, I thought they'd missed me.

''Then they turned round... and then they saved my life. I can't thank them enough.''

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