In Legends by Clyde Mooney

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A Melbourne man is lucky to be alive after the quick thinking and bravery of staff at the Wharf Hotel, who jumped in the Yarra River to save him.

Four bartenders at the Hotel were closing and enjoying an after-hours beverage when one, Matt McKiernan, thought he heard cries for help and went outside to investigate.

“I saw a bloke floating down the river screaming ‘help, help, help’ so I took my kit off and jumped in the river,” McKiernan told ABC.

“By time I got to him he was pretty much underwater. I dragged him back to shore and a couple of lads who were drinking and some staff helped me pull him out and gave him CPR.”

Once out of the water, the man was given mouth-to-mouth by one of the bystanders for around 10 minutes until paramedics arrived.

The Yarra is not known for its pristine waters or popularity with swimmers, and McKiernan relayed he had not ‘experienced’ it before the potentially fatal situation.

“I wasn’t real keen to jump in the Yarra,” he said.

“I was worried it was going to taste pretty bad, and I wasn’t disappointed. It tasted pretty terrible actually.

“But I’m glad he’s all right and he came to, so happy with the result.”

Following his heroics, McKiernan resumed the less glorious task of closing up the Hotel.

The near-drowned man is reportedly still in hospital, in stable condition. How he ended up in Melbourne’s river has not come to light.