Celebrity chef Justin Sutherland was severely injured over the weekend after falling out of a boat into its propeller.
The former “Top Chef” contestant and “Iron Chef America” winner was out with friends on a boat in Minnesota on Sunday when he fell into the water while trying to retrieve his captain’s hat.
“While piloting his boat, Justin’s hat blew off. He tried to grab it, hit a wave, and was knocked off the boat. He fell into the water near the motor, and the propeller did a number on his head and left arm, ”a GoFundMe account, set up by his friend Beth Gillies, explained.
Sutherland was left with a broken arm and a “severely” broken jaw. Fortunately, it appears he has no nerve damage and has already undergone the first of many surgeries to address his injuries.
“In addition to his broken bones, he sustained many lacerations, but with plastic surgery, they will become a reminder of his survival story,” the statement went on. “The great news is, he is going to be fine. With some time, he will possibly be better than fine. He is adding more character to the face we know and love, and the most important news, his beard is intact. ”
The money raised on the crowdfunding site will cover Sutherland’s ever increasing medical bills, as he did not have health insurance. They’re currently looking to raise $500,000.
“If this lofty goal amount is exceeded and his medical bills are fully paid, please know that Justin and his family are committed to donating the excess amount to the many charities and causes near and dear to their hearts,” the statement continued.
At the time of publication, the account raised just over $74,000.
News of his accident was first announced on Sutherland’s Instagram.
“He is recovering and in good spirits,” the statement assured fans, adding, “At this time his family asks for privacy, but please send him positive thoughts and prayers.”
Sutherland competed on Season 16 of “Top Chef” in 2019 and also competed and won “Iron Chef America” in 2018.
He also owns and is the Executive Chef of two restaurants in the Minneapolis area, Handsome Hog & Pearl and The Thief.