YARMOUTH – A Medford man and his family were in Yarmouth yesterday to thank first responders for their efforts to save his life last week.
Arthur Moscufo was out testing his boat in the Bass River when it overturned and drifted into Nantucket Sound.
He was found by a coast guard helicopter crew after spending more than 12 hours in the elements.
“I can’t say thank you enough to all the people who were there that night involved directly, all the people that were involved indirectly – not on site,” Moscufo said. “I am at a loss for words.”
First responders honored Moscufo’s girlfriend, Liz Dorrance, for her heroics to report him missing to Yarmouth police.
“While I know that I’ve been dubbed a hero by most people in this room, it is really the men and women in this room that are the heroes, in general, and on this night,” Dorrance said.
Moscufo’s mother Pamela said the three and a half hours spent searching were the most frightening of her life.
“The relief I felt of hearing that he was safe and alive surpassed any feelings of happiness and relief I have had in my life,” Pamela said. “It was amazing and I will never, ever forget it and I will never, ever let him forget it.”
Yarmouth Division of Natural Resources field supervisor Bill Bonnetti said Moscufo deserves credit for being alive because of the actions he took to survive.
“Once he realized he was in trouble he kicked into survival mode,” Bonnetti said. “I think he could write a book. Sitting with him for an hour and listening to his thought processes and the things that he did. He is really the reason why he is alive right now.”
Moscufo said his condition continues to improve but that he foresees having to receive physical therapy for his hands.
He said his are still pretty numb but he does have feeling and can move his toes.
“I’m out of the woods as far as infections and everything go,” Moscufo said. “There may be some long-term damage to my feet.”
Moscufo said he is optimistic because he can feel his feet.
“Today when I woke up they were actually a little painful which I thought was a good sign because it means something is going on,” he said.
Moscufo said he will get on a boat again.
“The circumstances will be much different,” he said. “It will be much warmer. I will be prepared times 10 and I will not take that vessel where it does not belong.”
Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steven Xiarhos said the rescue was a fantastic team effort.
“It is what these people that are here do,” Xiarhos said.
By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter