Updated: Tuesday, 05 Jul 2011, 10:45 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 05 Jul 2011, 10:45 PM EDT
Prospect, Conn. (WTNH) - A man who helped save a boy's life in the water off Milford's Silver Sands beach says it's the boy he rescued who should be considered the true hero.
Tom Murphy and his family are still shaken up a day after the ordeal. They were out on their jet skis in Milford enjoying the 4th of July. The family had not a care in the world until they ran across with they first thought was a buoy bobbing in the water.
"We got closer and we found that it was a head and we went to go see what it was," Tom Smith said.
"As we got a little bit closer to the little boy we noticed it was a young kid, and he was starting to go under," Murphy said.
"He sounded rally scared," Smith said. "Sounded like he was out of breath. He was like gasping for air, saying 'I'm downing, I'm drowning.'"
Murphy, his son and nephews pulled the nine-year-old onto the jet ski.
"He was treading water for about 20 minutes," Murphy said, "I don't know too many adults that could have done what he did, and he just was truly an amazing kid. I look at him as the true hero. And I thank god we were just in the right place at the right time."
Immediately the child started asking for help for Rocco Daddio, Jr., the 34-year-old Hamden man he was with.
Daddio had gone under while the boy treaded water and drifted way out in the Sound.
While the jet skiers brought the boy to the shore, Murphy's sister was with the mother and wife who were waiting word on the missing pair.
"I will never forget the look on her face, it was desperation," Tara Smith said. "She was looking to anybody, anybody who could get in that water and find her husband. And I think of all the what if's -- what if that were my kid, and both my sons were out on jet skis, and it goes through your mind.
"When you go to bed at night you look at them when they are in their beds you say thank you that they are still there," she said.
One of the things the Smith and Murphy families thought might help in the future is having a jet ski on the beach. The lifeguards only had kayaks to search the water Monday until the Coast Guard arrived on the scene.