Vedder and two friends had been stranded at sea when Baxter, a Hawaiian sailor, picked them up in 2001.
All five members of the band – Vedder, guitarists Mike McCready and Stone Gossard, bassist Jeff Ament and drummer Matt Cameron – donated $14,000 each (anonymously, apart from Gossard) to the GoFundMe campaign aimed at helping Hawaiian sailor Keith Baxter, who suffered a gruesome injury last year, recover.
Around 2001, Baxter saved the life of Vedder and two friends when a six-man canoe they had been paddling in overturned in the ocean after its mast snapped. He and his daughter Ashley had been sailing nearby when they heard voices calling for help, after the singer and his party had been stranded for nearly two hours.
Eddie Vedder and his Pearl Jam bandmates donated $14,000 each to the man who saved his life
Now, they have shown their gratitude by generously donating the large sum to Baxter’s online campaign, matching and effectively doubling the $70,000 that had already been raised.
Karen, Baxter’s wife, e-mailed The Inertia to confirm the reports. “Yes, it’s all true… Pearl Jam (Eddie, Stone, Jeff, Mike, and Matt) matched what was originally raised ($70K) through Gofundme.com.”
Baxter has been suffering an infection brought on by a serious injury he sustained in his own boating accident that occurred in 2015.
His wife happened to cross paths with Kacky Ovrom Chamberlain, whose life Baxter had saved the same night as Vedder’s, and explained the situation. Chamberlain, recognising the debt he owed, took it upon himself to set up the GoFundMe campaign, which recently hit its funding target.
“Keith is the true personification of all that is good in Hawaii — Aloha to all, respect for the land, humility, loyalty and service,” Chamberlain wrote. “Please help us get Keith the care he needs and back on the water where he belongs.”