A Coastguard helicopter has rescued a surfer from the sea on Monday evening after more than 30 hours in the water.
Belfast Coastguard coordinated the search for the missing surfer who left to go surfing from Machrihanish beach near Campbeltown on Sunday and didn't return. A large area of sea and shore line has been searched since lunch time on Monday when the alarm was raised, involving RNLI lifeboats from Campbeltown, Islay and Red Bay and Coastguard rescue teams from Campbeltown, Southend, Gigha, Tarbert and Port Ellen as well as the Coastguard Rescue helicopter based at Prestwick.
Dawn Petrie at Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre who was coordinating the search this evening said,
"Hope was fading of finding the surfer safe and well after such a long period in the water and with nightfall approaching we were gravely concerned but at 7.30pm tonight, 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. He is hypothermic but conscious and has been flown to hospital in Belfast"
Notes to Editors: Coastal Safety Summer 2017: UK Coastguard reminds all coastal users this summer to be prepared before you go out on the water or at the coast where conditions can change quickly. Tell someone where you are going and take an appropriate means of raising the alarm in an emergency.
Dramatic footage of surfer plucked from the water by Coastguard helicopter