Life-Saving CPR by Entertainer on Cruise

Aerial view of Anthem of the Seas' North Star

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A heart-stopping moment became a heartwarming tale when a cruise ship entertainer stepped in and saved the life of a 58-year-old passenger onboard Anthem of the Seas. 

Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas
Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. (Royal Caribbean)

Last week, Royal Caribbean’s ship Anthem of the Seas was on a 7-day cruise from New Jersey to the Bahamas when passenger Joe Kutza began experiencing cardiac distress.

Juggler and comedian Pete Matthews had just changed clothes for his performance and gotten a drink for his wife when the commotion outside his stateroom grabbed his attention. 

Recalling the events that took place, Matthews said to the Daily Echo, “These guys, probably in their 30s, were shouting ‘dad, dad, don’t die, dad.’ It was a real panic, and I ran down the corridor, dressed and ready for my show, and saw this chap on the floor, slumped against the wall.”

The 50-year-old resident of West Parley, UK, sprung into action and began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation with the help of another guest. After 5 minutes of CPR, medics arrived, and Matthews had to quickly redirect his focus and perform onstage.

Juggler and comedian Pete Matthews
Juggler and comedian Pete Matthews

“The most surreal moment of it all was the fact that 15 minutes after this happened, I was on stage cracking funnies and making an audience laugh, and they were oblivious to the fact that that had just happened. I just put it in a box and just got on with it,” he narrated.

Despite his successful performance, Matthews admitted that he was shaken by the incident, and his hands were trembling during the entire show. Once he was offstage and told by a staff member that Kutza was going to be all right, Matthews couldn’t contain his emotions any longer and wept in relief.

anthem of the seas north star
North Star observation capsule on Anthem of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

During his hospital visit to check up on Kutza, Matthews was introduced as “the man that saved his life.”

The performer described their meeting, saying, “He shook my hand, pulled me in for a hug, said God bless you, I love you man, and then the family continued to thank me too. He just keeps saying that I was his guardian angel.”

Kutza has since gone home to Pennsylvania with his family to recover. Matthews remains in touch with them.

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