YARMOUTH (CBS) – A hotel clerk and off-duty firefighter are being credited with saving the life of a man who slipped and fell into a frigid Yarmouth marina.

Lawrence Firefighter William Pagan says he was hoping for a relaxing getaway at the Riverview Resort but what happened on Thursday morning was anything but.

“Just the cry of help. I was kind of like, oh, that was weird,” said Pagan.

Pagan jumped into action after he heard a man screaming for help outside. He ran to the front desk for help.

“This was urgent and he was banging on the desk, like, ‘Hey, I need help. Come quick!'” said resort clerk Nick Spignese.

Lawrence Firefighter William Pagan (WBZ-TV)

With temperatures in the single digits, the pair ran out to the marina and found a man neck-deep in icy water.

“Holding on, one hand, to a rope from the boat,” said Pagan.

The man appeared out of energy and told the two his body was numb from the freezing water.

“He had actually, word-for-word, said ‘I’m done. I can’t hang on anymore,'” Spignese said.

The man who fell into the water, Jeff Viamari, said he was just trying to take his lobster boat out of the water, when he slipped on the icy dock and fell backwards into the water. That’s when he knew there was no way he would get out of the water without help.

Jeff Viamari (WBZ-TV)

“We grabbed him by the shoulder, lifted him, and then grabbed him by the belt waist and brought him onto the dock,” Pagan said.

The two covered Viamari in blankets and rubbed his legs for warmth before he was taken to the hospital.

Pagan says he was only able to hear the man’s cries because the heater in his room wasn’t working.

“It could’ve been a totally different situation if it was just me in that moment by myself,” Pagan said.

Viamari feels grateful to be recovering at home, telling WBZ by phone that if it were not for the life-saving actions of the men who rescued him he probably wouldn’t be alive.


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