Now they’re chums for life.
Richard Gorda shared the footage to Facebook on Sunday, shortly after the incident occurred. In the 8-minute clip, he can be seen racing toward the area where the boy, 11, was calling for help from the small sheet of ice.
The boy shouted that he couldn’t swim, prompting Gorda to instruct onlookers to call the authorities, Ukraine’s Independent Information Agency of News (UNIAN) reported. In the meantime, Gorda cast out a lure (with no hook) in the direction of the boy, who managed to pluck the line out of the water.
Gorda then reeled in the boy, very slowly, until he was safely back on the shore.
Gorda later said on Facebook that he didn’t believe he’d get a second chance to cast his line to the boy, as the ice beneath him was cracking.
In the days since, Gorda’s Facebook page has been flooded with messages from admirers who regarded him as a hero, though Gorda has said he’s “not comfortable” with that term.
“This is no feat, just ended up there at the right moment,” he wrote, per a translation.
Gorda added that he hoped other children, but also their parents, learned a valuable lesson from the incident.
“I hope this will be a lesson for parents and children,” he wrote. “Not always someone can be around, most will actually shoot on smartphones. If you see trouble, call the Ministry of Internal Affairs first, then do not panic and look for anything that can help save.”
“I hope this will be a lesson for parents and children,” the fisherman later wrote on Facebook.
Gorda was not immediately available to comment futher for Fox News, but did remark on social media that this was not his “first case” of having to help rescue an unattended child.
“Take care of yourself, your children and relatives,” he added.