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Bristow UK SAR Crew Rescues Surfer Adrift at Sea

May 03, 2017

Bristow’s UK SAR crew at Prestwick, operating on behalf of HM Coastguard, rescued a surfer from the sea off the western coast of Scotland May 1, 2017, after more than 30 hours in the water. Coastguard officials credit the surfer’s survival being aided by his thick wetsuit that included boots and a hood, and his ability to remain atop of his surfboard limiting his exposure to the frigid water.

The UK Coastguard was alerted when the surfer didn't return home from surfing at Machrihanish beach near Campbeltown. The search for the surfer included Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboats from Campbeltown, Islay and Red Bay, and Coastguard rescue teams from Campbeltown, Southend, Gigha, Tarbert and Port Ellen, in addition to Bristow’s helicopter based at Prestwick.

"We all felt really good when we spotted him," said Bristow Captain Andrew Pilliner. "Our training kicked in, and it was time to get this guy to a hospital as soon as we could."

Watch footage of the dramatic rescue here.