Chuck Wahtola is lucky to be alive.
The 67-year-old went fishing at Diversy Harbor Wednesday afternoon. For the first time he didn't take his wife with him.
Around 3:45 p.m. he tried to get up from his folding chair on the dock when it slipped out from beneath him. He fell into the 33 degree water.
He screamed for help and an off duty Chicago firefighter happened to be nearby.
Billy Miller went into rescue mode. Miller held Wahtola tight next to the dock trying to keep him afloat and alert while he called fellow firefighters at the station. Miller then called 911.
Crews arrived and divers helped hoist Wahtola out of the water.
The retired engineer originally from Joliet is going to be fine and is thanking his lucky stars tonight, he says, that Miller was around to save his life.