And then he survives a night floating on his board in the Irish Sea!
Once, many years ago, I paddled out to my hometown Bastendorff Beach near Coos Bay, Oregon for a lovely afternoon surf. The weather was a glorious freezing with a thick grey blanket covering the sky. The ocean was an even more wonderful freezing with giant storm fed chop heaving and lurching.
My board was a totally appropriate 6’1 Nev potato chip. I jogged to the shoreline, waded in, hoped on and began to paddle near a rock spit, dreading the upcoming ice cream headache from the upcoming 1001 duck dives. Soon, though, I was filled with an immense joy. I was halfway out to the “lineup” without having to duckdive once. What luck!
I smiled, broadly, until realizing that I hadn’t had to duckdive because I was in the world’s biggest rip. It was like a river, with rapids etc., sucking me out to sea. I paddled as hard as I could over to the rock spit and dug my fingers into its barnacles at the last possible point. My totally appropriate comp leash snapped and my 6’1 Nev bounced out to sea while I climbed the rock back to shore.
Some fish bandit Chinese is probably getting barreled on it right now.
And I only recount this story to say that rip currents are scary things! A Scottish surfer just got caught in one and ended up in Belfast, Ireland across the Irish Sea. Let’s read about him!
A SURFER has been found clinging to his board 13 miles off the west coast of Scotland more than a day after he vanished.
Matthew Bryce disappeared after setting off to go to West Port beach near Campbeltown for a day of surfing on Sunday morning.
The 22-year-old had last been seen yesterday morning about 9am in the St Catherines area of Argyll.
The alarm was raised after he failed to get in touch with family or friends since then.
Cops launched a search and urgent appeal for any sightings of the the keen surfer on Monday.
Cops confirmed he was found at around 7.30pm on Monday night and was taken to a hospital in Belfast to be checked over.
Chief inspector Paul Robertson said: “The response to our appeal to find Matthew has been outstanding.
“It has been a real team effort and I would like to thank everyone who offered their assistance.”
Belfast Coastguard coordinated the search and a large area of sea and shore was searched since lunch time on Monday.
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, said: “Hope was fading of finding the surfer safe and well after such a long period in the water.
“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.”
I wonder what Matthew Bryce was thinking about as he floated? Do you think he was thinking, “If this is it my surf bros better do a paddle out for me.”
When you die do you want a paddle out?