Local Guitarist Hailed A Hero After Saving A Blind Man From Drowning

Written by Emmy Mack on 31st July, 2015

Local Guitarist Hailed A Hero After Saving A Blind Man From Drowning

Victorian guitarist Sam Haycroft of punk rock act I Am Duckeye has been praised by police after he heroically paddled out to save a blind man whose boat had capsized in rough seas on Wednesday night.

The former Sydonia axeman says he was washing the dishes after a “classic nachos nosh” at his home in Ventnor, Phillip Island, when his neighbour texted, asking if he could hear someone yelling for help.

Recapping the action-packed evening, Haycroft says he rushed out to the backyard, where sure enough he could hear the “eerie call”.

“I’m straight into my 3 plugger Dad thongs, [partner] Paula hands me our favourite whacky stick and I’m jogging toward the distressed male voice on the fortunate lack of wind as we wouldn’t have heard him otherwise,” he recounts.

“I’m thinking I’d be smashing a window to hop into a house to save a fallen elderly person. But as I’m pelting through the dark streets it dawns on me that it’s coming from the beach,” he continues.

“I fang through the bush and dunes and enter the scene on the shore of about 6 people crowded around the high beams of a 4 wheel drive pointing out over the rocks into pitch black sea. His voice still wailing into shore.”

Police from the Bass Coast service area report that two men had gotten into difficulties in rough waters at around 4.30 that afternoon, when their tinny capsized approximately 200 metres off shore.

One of the men was blind (which police hilariously clarified in their press release as meaning “not drunk”) and clung to the boat, while his mate swam to the shore to seek help.

It was then that Haycroft arrived at the scene.

“I spot a young boy sheepishly holding a blue foamy learner mal and I figure stuff letting that kid go, I’ve got the Rocky theme song going in my head from the half kilometre jog, plus I’m old and smelly and have had a pretty good innings,” he reflects.

“And this is the point in the rescue scenario where everybody should please press stop on the inner hellperson soundtrack and think. I did.”

Despite receiving a text from his partner informing him that emergency services were on their way, Haycroft decided that he had no choice but to act.

“What I have to stress is that the reason I couldn’t stand by is that if that voice trailed off into the darkness it would have haunted all of us standing there on the beach till our dying days,” he explains.
“So I stripped to my grundies, strapped on the legrope, adrenaline pumping and that constant call for help as my only guide.”

In an image uploaded to Instagram, Haycroft has drawn an arrow with the approximate location of the blind man, with the qualifier “About there”.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 7.14.40 pm

“‘About there’ is where the guy was sitting on top of his capsized tinny in the dark in 12°C water/10°C outside,” he explains.

“I know it was past the red buoy because when we were paddling in, what I thought was another rescuer with a glow stick in his gob turned out to be the light from the torch in my chattering teeth reflecting off it.”

In a second Insta post, the ocean-savvy guitarist has relived the moment when he finally reached the man stranded in what police have called “dark, dangerous conditions”.

“I’m just 60kgs of wafer thin sex machine and he’s approx 90kgs of blind man wearing jocks and a long sleeve tshirt. But he can move and he has hope and the will to live,” Haycroft says. “He clambered aboard and I face planted into his cloaca and started us paddling to shore.”

“…Luckily I didn’t tell a blind man to swim for the light as that may have felt foreboding. But as my limbs were going numb I felt what must’ve been hypothermia saying ‘How ya garn?’ I slipped to the back end and kicked like nothing else as old mate’s arms are chugging along nicely.”

He continues: “Halfway home of maybe a 200 metre stretch, the sound of the jet ski was bliss. He sidled up to us and we got ol mate onto it and they hurled to shore.”

The blind man was then taken to Wonthaggi Hospital and treated for exposure, while Haycroft was hailed as a “brave local man” in the official police press release detailing the marine rescue.

“It’s all a bit overwhelming”, Haycroft tells Music Feeds.

Prior to last night’s daring effort, he had already garnered a bit of a rep for his legendary exploits. As well as bringing us such musical pearlers as Punching Dicks, Haycroft also caught our attention earlier this year after he performed a fabulous metal lullaby with Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe inside a children’s tent during Blythe’s Soundwave down time.

We never could have imagined he would trump that, just a few short months later.

Sam Haycroft: punching dicks and saving lives.

Watch: I Am Duckeye – Punching Dicks

I'm washing the dishes after a classic nachos nosh with Paula and daughter Isis when our neighbour Lauren txted asking if we could hear someone yelling for help. Sure enough from the backyard you could hear that eerie call. I'm straight into my 3 plugger Dad thongs, Paula hands me our favourite whacky stick and I'm jogging toward the distressed male voice on the fortunate lack of wind as we wouldn't have heard him otherwise. I thinking I'd be smashing a window to hop into a house to save a fallen elderly person. But as I'm pelting through the dark streets it dawns on me that it's coming from the beach. I fang through the bush and dunes and enter the scene on the shore of about 6 people crowded around the high beams of a 4 wheel drive pointing out over the rocks into pitch black sea. His voice still wailing into shore. I spot a young boy sheepishly holding a blue foamy learner mal and I figure stuff letting that kid go, I've got the Rocky theme song going in my head from the half kilometre jog, plus I'm old and smelly and have had a pretty good innings. And this is the point in the rescue scenario where everybody should please press stop on the inner hellperson soundtrack and think. I did. As I handed my dialling phone to a random strsnger I noticed that Paula had txted that 000 had been called and on their way so knowing this I figured emergency services weren't too far off. What I have to stress is that the reason I couldn't stand by is that if that voice trailed off into the darkness it would have haunted all of us standing there on the beach till our dying days. So I stripped to my grundies, strapped on the legrope, adrenaline pumping and that constant call for help as my only guide. To be continued as Instagram won't let me talk the lid off an iron pot… ("About there" is where the guy was sitting on top of his capsized tinnie in the dark in 12°C water/10°C outside. I know it was past the red bouy because when we were paddling in, what I thought was another rescuer with a glow stick in his gob turned out to be the light from the torch in my chattering teeth reflecting off it.)

A photo posted by Sam Haycroft (@samhaycroft) on

After this quick photo shoot, I hit the water. It was a bit nippy. Fortunately the cup of concrete the beach crew handed me was enough to keep me warm. They'd be the ones telling emergency services which way this idiot paddled and regaling to Paula how incredibly stupid I was, but just slightly reminiscent of any of the James Bond, especially George Lazenby. Those foamy learner boards really glide through the choppy waters but it still seemed to take forever to get even slightly close to him. I didn't look back cos it's like looking down from a height I reckon. I figured just get to him and suss out his mischief. Seeing his silhouette turn to features was a welcome view. I tried to use my calm voice to at least chill myself out as I sidled up next to him. I asked if he was alone and he said "I'm blind!" Yes I nearly clocked him in the noggin cos yes I thought drunk, that's just perfect. But he instantly assures me "Blind, I can't see." So I quickly fleece his wallet and draw a penis on his forehead for not having a life jacket on. I ask is he alone. He says his mate swam to shore to get help. For a second I thought dead body floating but I couldn't see anyone with the pissy torch. I'm just 60kgs of wafer thin sex machine and he's approx 90kgs of blind man wearing jocks and a long sleeve tshirt. But he can move and he has hope and the will to live. He clambered aboard and I face planted into his cloaca and started us paddling to shore. There was only the headlights of the 4×4 and a few torches for bearing. Luckily I didn't tell a blind man to swim for the light as that may have felt foreboding. But as my limbs were going numb I felt what must've been hypothermia saying "How ya garn?" I slipped to the back end and kicked like nothing else as old mate's arms are chugging along nicely. I'd yell just right hand occasionally to correct our steering. Halfway home of maybe a 200 metre stretch, the sound of the jet ski was bliss. He sidled up to us and we got ol mate onto it and they hurled to shore. When the jet ski stayed on the beach I literally thought of Mick Fanning's photographer who got left in the water. Whatevs ayyyyyyy!

A photo posted by Sam Haycroft (@samhaycroft) on

***NOT A JOKE***Sam is the "brave local man" in this story.Happened last night on Phillip Island.Cool, huh?

Posted by I am Duckeye on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Did Sam foreshadow his heroic achievement by wearing this cape onstage 4 days ago?(The elf in the corner was obviously impressed…)

Posted by I am Duckeye on Thursday, July 30, 2015


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