Deaf Sailor Honored for Water Rescue

Deaf Sailor Honored for Water Rescue

It’s a classic story of morality. A racer is at the head of the pack when he notices an injured person lying on the side of the road. Does he selflessly give up his chance at winning to help out or keep going to the finish line? For sailor Gavin Reid, there was never a question.


Reid was competing in a Round the World Yacht Race in 2016 when his yacht received a distress call from another ship. He didn’t hesitate to leave the race path and head towards the boat that needed rescuing. He leapt into the water, swam to the boat, and hauled himself up the mast to the sailor who was stuck there. Then he swam back and waited until more help arrived.


While Reid didn’t win the race, he’s received another honor: the  2016 Yachtsman of the Year  award. Despite his heroism, this modest sailor refuses to take credit for anything, saying he’s “overwhelmed by the amount of praise” he’s getting and stating he’s grateful for the help his shipmates provided in the rescue.


Even more amazingly, the clipper race was his first major sailing experience. He didn’t have experience on the waters, just athleticism from his four years of playing rugby. His quick learning and commitment to personal growth was impressive to everyone on his yacht, and he was promoted to watch leader after just a few months.


That’s not the only impressive thing about his story. Reid is also deaf. He had to wear hearing aids during his sailing adventure and still struggles to hear everything taking place on the boat. Clearly, he’s not letting anything hold him back.


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