Dramatic rescue for surfer after 30 hours adrift off Scotland

An image from video released by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency on May 2, 2017 shows Coastguard rescuers hoisting surfer Matthew Bryce onto a helicopter after he spent 30 hours drifting between the Scottish and Northern Irish coasts.

British Maritime and Coastguard Agency

LONDON -- A surfer who was plucked from the sea after more than 30 hours adrift is recovering in a hospital in Northern Ireland.

Matthew Bryce of Scotland was rescued after an intense search operation that began after his family reported him missing when he did not return from a surfing trip off the western coast of Scotland.

He had last been seen Sunday morning heading out on his board.

Scottish police and the coast guard launched a dedicated sea and air search that succeeded when the 22-year-old was located Monday evening 13 miles off the Scottish coast.

He was being treated for hypothermia, but was in stable condition, a spokesman for Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Northern Ireland, told CBS partner network Sky News. Officials said he was kept alive by his thick wetsuit and by his ability to stay on his surfboard while drifting.

Dawn Petrie, of the Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre, told Sky that hopes had been "fading of finding the surfer safe and well after such a long period in the water and with nightfall approaching."

"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."