TOMS RIVER, N.J. — Doug Ferrigno is back to joy-riding his favorite Jet Ski, but it’s been a long road.
He lost his Toms River home to Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He was just able to move back in April. Then came a surprising reunion.
"On July 2, I get a phone call from Brick Township Police Department that they found my lost Jet Ski," Ferrigno said. "At first, I thought it was a prank."
The Seadoo Jet Ski was found 6 miles away from Ferrigno's bayfront home, sitting on the front lawn of a home in Brick. Apparently, Sandy's waters had carried the wave-runner north and plopped it on the property when the waters receded.
"I thought it would have been destroyed, even just sitting out there in the weeds, sitting out in front of the guy's property," Ferrigno said.
But it didn't have a scratch. Even the keys were still in the ignition.
"Started right up. I mean, literally, first push of the button, it started right up," he said.
He said in 2012, someone ran the Jet Ski's registration but mistook the number seven for a one. This time, whoever ran the numbers got it right.
"Now that it's found and it's intact, I can have closure and move on and a lot of other people are probably waiting for a little bit of closure for themselves," Ferrigno said.
His 6-year struggle to overcome Sandy has finally come full circle.
As for the homeowner who had Ferrigno's Jet Ski, he's apparently still not home. The house remains under construction. Ferrigno has been unable to reach his neighbor to the north to say thanks.
He's a career firefighter and has heart of service, so he's hoping to return the favor in the future. For now, Ferrigno is counting his blessings. He sees the Jet Ski as a symbol.
"There is a silver lining in everything and life is good actually right now," he said. "Life is good."