YARMOUTH (CBS) – Arthur Moscufo realizes he’s lucky to be alive after spending 13 hours at sea, clinging to his overturned skiff last month.
And on Wednesday, he got the chance to thank those who rescued him during an emotional reunion.
“I just want to thank everyone who helped me, from the Coast Guard to firefighters to the nurses,” said Moscufo.
In February, during an unusually warm day, Moscufo decided to test his new 10-foot boat.
He launched in Bass River in Yarmouth, but within 25 minutes, the boat capsized and he was left drifting out to sea.
Moscufo spent nearly 13 hours on the overturned boat, and developed Stage 3 hypothermia, before a Coast Guard helicopter spotted him.
“I said ‘I’ve got a target at 9 o’clock, it’s not moving, can we go check it out?’” said Coast Guard helicopter crew member Mike Linehan.
Coast Guard member Anthony West said there’s no better feeling than locating a target in distress.
“It’s a pretty amazing feeling for us as well,” said West.
Moscufo said the thought of his mother kept him alive as he clung to the boat. Her husband recently died, and Moscufo didn’t want her to go through that pain again.
“I wasn’t giving up,” he said. “But eventually your body will do what it does, shut down and get ready to die.”