A Pair of Yachtsmen Saved the Life of Fellow Sailor in Manly

A Pair of Yachtsmen Saved the Life of Fellow Sailor in Manly

Did you know that a pair of yachtsmen saved the life of a fellow competitor who was knocked off his boat, falling unconscious in the water during a national competition in Manly?



Matt Visser, a seasoned yachtsman, was performing a 360-degree turn on his yacht after reaching the last mark of a national championship event in Manly last January 2023 when the wind caught his sail that caused the boom to hit his head. The boat tipped over and left him unconscious, face down in the water.


Seeing their fellow sailor knocked off his boat, Mike Middleton and Mark Dingley from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, who happened to be filming from a support boat at the time of the accident, immediately dove in and pulled Matt back to the media boat to perform CPR on him.

Mr Middleton said that Matt’s eyes were glazed, and he had no pulse, so they did CPR again until he started breathing again. After regaining consciousness, Mr Visser was immediately taken to intensive care.

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After recovering from the experience, the 57-year-old was thankful that his rescuers were trained in CPR. He said that it took 14 minutes to have him resuscitated.



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Mr Visser fell in love with sailing at the tender age of five and was trained by his father who was an Olympics veteran. He said it was not the first time that he encountered bad weather whilst sailing with no one who is proficient in CPR nearby. Luckily, he wasn’t knocked out in any of those instances. 

He underscored the importance of having at least three individuals on a course who are well-trained to perform CPR in case of an emergency. He said he plans to learn CPR once he is fully recovered.

Published 19-February-2023