Sunderland's Duncan Watmore saved three elderly passengers when their fishing boat was hit by a catamaran in Barbados.
Watmore, 23, had been on the island as part of his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury but managed to pull the trio to safety just before their boat sank.
His father, Ian Watmore, tweeted that the incident "happened in February" and that it "sounded horrific when he told us, but typical Duncan he wanted to downplay it."
The footballer then used his T-shirt as a tourniquet for the leg of a passenger which was bleeding heavily.
His father added that, of the three people Watmore saved, one had just had a hip replacement, one couldn't swim and one was over 80, and said the incident was a good test for the strength of his knee following the operation.
Watmore Sr. is also quoted by the BBC as saying: "They saw it and just assumed it was going to go round them and, when they realised it was coming straight at them, they started yelling and screaming but nothing changed.
"These catamarans are quite powerful and the blade just ripped the thing in half."
The BBC reported that the skipper of the catamaran was taken away by police following the incident.