May 4, 2017 2:05 pm
Updated: May 4, 2017 2:22 pm

Scottish surfer lost at sea recalls helplessness as ships sailed away

WATCH ABOVE: A Scottish surfer who went missing for 32 hours at sea recalls the harrowing tale of survival


A surfer rescued after 32 hours at sea off the Scottish coast recounted on Thursday how he had almost lost hope.

“It was all pretty terrible, but the night was the worst,” 22-year-old Matthew Bryce said from his Belfast hospital bed, flanked by his parents Isabella and John.

READ MORE: Surfer plucked from sea after more than 30 hours adrift off Scotland’s coast

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He described how he floated on a surfboard, watching boats sail off as he tried to call them for rescue.

“I shouted for the fishing boats and like they didn’t hear me and the just sailed, they just sailed north. They just sailed away.”

His parents were emotional as they spoke about waiting to hear news of their son.

“You just try and keep strong, you try and keep hope,” John Bryce said. “The longer the day went on, then the hope goes down and then you get no news at all.”

READ MORE: Drone operator desperately tries to alert surfers shark is lurking beneath them

Matthew Bryce praised the efforts of the police and rescue services who had helped him saying “they are all heroes.”

WATCH: Coastguard says surfer very lucky after 32 hours at sea

“The helicopter flew right over me … and I heard it and it flew right over,” Bryce recalled. “So I jumped off my board and I picked up the board and started waving it.”

“I thought they’d missed me … but then they turned around,” he said choking back tears. “When I saw them turn … it was just … it was indescribable.”

Bryce went missing after setting off to go surfing on April 30 from a beach near Campbeltown off the Scottish west coast, sparking a large search operation.

He was finally located on Monday evening, still with his surfboard after being spotted by a rescue helicopter.

© 2017 Reuters

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