NEW JERSEY - It’s safe to assume Joey Cabasso’s Sunday afternoon on the water left a memory that’ll stick with him and his loved ones forever.
The president of Mario Badescu Skin Care and the Gemini fishing crew was aboard his 56-foot Viking just a few miles away from Brielle, New Jersey in the Atlantic Ocean.
"The rods must’ve been in the water for like 2, 3 minutes, and all of a sudden, I look to my left, and it was probably like a couple hundred feet away. And I see a bunch of guys screaming on the back of the boat, ‘help help help,’" he recalled.
All four passengers were clinging onto a pillow for dear life and Joey and his crew didn’t waste a second heading toward the group floating in the water because they didn’t have a second to spare to make that first rescue.
"He was like going under like another minute, he probably would’ve went under and that was the guy I said I needed to grab first we had a hard time getting him on. But we got him on," said Cabasso.
Joey rushed to grab three more life vests for the rest of the crew who’d use them to swim up the stern of his boat, one by one, giving each person a hand to a safe and sturdy deck that, without Joey, could’ve turned into a much different story.
"They were like, ‘thank you, thank you, oh my god, I almost died, oh my god I can’t believe you guys saved me.’ We were at the right place at the right time," he remembered.
He considers himself a regular businessman, unaccustomed to all the applause and recognition after Sunday's rescue, but he walked into Mario Badescu a hero with a memory his son and colleague will talk about for the rest of their lives.
The skin care company president says his experience over the weekend deepened his value for boat safety watching those powerful waters sink a boat just feet away from him.
Since that rescue, he’s highlighting the importance of boating safety stressing the importance of keeping those life vests within an arm's reach because they certainly played a crucial role over the weekend.