Describing the moment his phone rang, he said: “I walked outside the caravan because I think it’s the worst news possible.
“It was the police inspector and all he said was ‘he was found alive’.
“I was outside crying my eyes out and obviously Isabella and my son thought we’d received the worst possible news.
“So I had to run in and tell them ‘he’s alive, he’s talking to the coastguard’.”
About half an hour later they were able to speak to their son on the phone.
Matthew said he owed his life to the coastguard, RNLI, the police and the staff at Ulster Hospital.
“They are all heroes,” he said.
He added that he would not be surfing again.