Mat Rogers hailed a hero as NRL players caught up in a boat mishap

Former NRL player Mat Rogers has been hailed a hero after saving a man by jumping into the ocean after the man fell off the boat when he swallowed potentially dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.

Rogers, and legend Australian cyclist Robbie McEwen were the two that jumped in to save the man despite being somewhat disillusioned themselves by the toxic monoxide smoke.

Mat Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Matthew Johns and Greg Bird were among 9 people who were travelling in a 30-foot motor yacht to the Gold Coast, on their way back from Stradbroke Island with the aim to raise funds for Rogers charity 4ASD Kids.

Things turned sour however, when fumes that were not visible surfaced resulting in the passengers inhaling the toxic gas, resulting in 6 of the people on board to collapse including both Johns and Bird.

One man, fell off the back of the boat, after he became severely disorientated and lost consciousness as a result.

Despite suffering the full effect of the gas himself, it was Rogers who reacted quickest, and he jumped into the water to save the man, before he was joined by Robbie McEwen who is was affected less by the gas, given his high-altitude training in cycling.

“They deserve a big wrap,” Johns said yesterday.

“Mat reckons his head was spinning when he hit the water, but it didn’t stop him.

“It was amazing. He might have saved that guy’s life. Actually, he did save that guy’s life.”

The boat eventually made it back to the shore, as all nine people were treated by paramedics.

Six of those on the boat were taken to hospital, but they were all discharged later on in the day.

The saga could have gotten uglier however had other boats not arrived at Stradbroke Island to take children back to the Gold Coast, with Rogers boat being the one with problems.

Rogers said it was the worst experience of his life, and he sincerely apologised to all of those who were affected by the shock accident.

Despite the accident, the golf event did raise $200,000 for the charity, which gives treatment options to autistic kids.

McEwen, who was suffering from a severe headache when the boat finally returned to the shore, dismissed his role as the hero in the accident.

It was a dramatic boat ride, for sure, but it all turned out OK, which is the main thing,” he said.

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