You can never have too many survival tools. But when an emergency occurs, sometimes your best instruments are the intangibles: quick thinking, resourcefulness, and decisiveness.

An unidentified Idaho ice angler’s rapid response surely saved the life of a boy who fell through the ice recently. The angler was fishing in a local pond when a 12-year-old boy broke through the ice about 20 feet from shore, Idaho’s KTVB reports. A rope and throwable floatation device would have been the ideal tool, but without one readily available, the situation demanded a creative solution.

While onlookers attempted to calm the struggling boy, the day’s hero rushed to his vehicle, retrieved a long power cord and tossed one end to the boy. The boy was able to keep himself from submerging and managed to grab the cord and bystanders helped pull him to safety.

The boy was later reunited with his mother and warmed up in an ambulance. Except for being wet and cold, medical workers found the boy uninjured from the experience.

The Idaho Fish and Game advises that ice fishermen — and any other recreationists– always go out on the ice in pairs or within sight of others. The best course of action for someone who has fallen into the water is to try and maintain a grip on the unbroken ice, and either pull themselves out or wait for help. A neck knife or ice spike will also help grip slippery ice.

Image courtesy Idaho Department of Fish and Game