SALEM TWP. (KDKA) — A man lost his footing while hunting for duck in the Pennsylvania State Game Lands in Salem Township and found himself in a tight spot.

This time of year the Loyalhanna Creek is brutally cold, creating dangerous conditions in the event of an accident.

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“He was walking along the creek and he slipped on the mud, slid down into the creek,” said Forbes Road Fire Chief Bob Rosatti.

Getting out of the freezing water proved to be a huge problem.

“He had a large pack on his back and he said it was like a parachute, the current started dragging him down stream,” Rosatti said.

Desperate and drenched, the man realized he’d better lose the pack.

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“He got out of the pack and got out of the water and swam across the creek and got out of the water,” Rosatti said.

On dry land but nowhere near dry himself. He was also cut off from rescuers across the creek.

“We had a boat rescue team come down from Westmoreland County and rescued him via boat.”

It turns out while he was drenched and cold, something he had remained dry and it probably saved his life.

“He was very lucky he was able to save his cell phone and call the 911 center. That was his life line to help,” Rosatti said.

That hunter is recovering and expected to be okay.

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