Glasgow & West Scotland

Rescued surfer Matthew Bryce discharged from hospital

Matthew Bryce with consultant physician Dr Padraig Headley and ward sister Rhonda Marks as he left hospital Image copyright South Eastern Health
Image caption Matthew Bryce praised the hospital staff for all the love, care and support" shown to him

A surfer who was rescued after spending more than 32 hours lost at sea has been discharged from hospital after making a "remarkable" recovery.

Matthew Bryce, 22, from Airdrie, was treated for hypothermia after he was found drifting on his surfboard in the North Channel on Monday 1 May.

He praised the medical care he received at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Belfast, as "second to none".

And he described his experience as "particularly traumatic".

Mr Bryce, who has said he will never surf again, was found by a search and rescue helicopter 13 miles from Northern Ireland and 16 miles from Argyll.

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Media captionMatthew Bryce tells BBC Scotland's Jackie Bird how he feared for his life as he drifted off the Argyll coast

He had set off from Westport beach in the Kintyre peninsula at about 11:00 on Sunday 30 April but the tides and winds carried him out to sea.

He was eventually found at about 19:30 the following day.

Last week, he told BBC Scotland's Jackie Bird how he believed he would not survive a second night in the water and had "made himself at peace".

"I knew I wasn't going to make another night, so I was watching the sunset," he said. "Then a helicopter flew over me."

Mr Bryce had jumped off his board and held it above him and started waving it.

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Media captionCoastguard footage of the moment Matthew Bryce was winched to safety

After thinking the helicopter had missed him, he said: "But then they turned round and when I saw them turn it was indescribable."

"I can't describe it at all.

"These guys were the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. I owe them my life."

Before leaving hospital he 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."

Image caption Mr Bryce thanked the staff at Ulster Hospital who have looked after him

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

And speaking about the hospital staff they said: "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 said: "Matthew Bryce has made a remarkable recovery and has now been treated and discharged from the Ulster Hospital."

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