WATAB TOWNSHIP -- A Sartell man who fell through thin ice on Little Rock Lake is reportedly awake and communicating with doctors, thanks in part, to a DNR Conservation Officer's quick thinking.

Acting Lieutenant Tony Musatov of Sauk Rapids and two other men hopped into an aluminum boat and quickly did whatever they could to reach 30-year-old Joshua Johnson who was struggling to stay afloat. But, Musatov says by the time they got to the area where Johnson had fallen through, he had gone under.

Musatov says they couldn't see anything because of the low water clarity level so they used a grappling hook to try to catch hold of Johnson's body.  Musatov was able to catch Johnson's leg with the hook and pull him up from the bottom of the lake.  Musatov and two other men got Johnson into a blow-up raft which was then pulled to shore.

The call came in just after 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 15th. Johnson's body was pulled from the water just after 12:15 p.m. Musatov says it's a miracle Johnson survived the ordeal.  He says it was a team effort to rescue Johnson.

Musatov cautions you to make sure there is a minimum of four inches of good ice before walking on lakes and rivers. More is required for ATV's snowmobiles and vehicles.

This is the second time Musatov has had to rescue someone who has fallen through the ice. In November 2008, Musatov helped save a man who had fallen through the Mississippi River ice while ice skating.