LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

An area boater is safe after falling off the side of his boat  thanks to one brave young man's quick thinking.

Reuben Ellesfon, 78, fell off  his houseboat into the water near the La Crosse municipal boat Harbor Wednesday. Ellefson was tangled in loose rope in the water near his boat for about 20 minutes. Luckily for him 11-year-old Levin Mason noticed Ellefson was in trouble and jumped into action.

"Well I was just kayaking out in the front here in the river, and I saw some guy splashing and I went over , and he said help and I got my mom," said Levin Mason.

Thanks to Levin, his mother, and a fellow bystander, Ellefson was out of the water by the time the emergency crews arrived on scene.

"Upon arrival arrival what we found was an elderly gentlemen laying on the docks, he said he was completely exhausted, at no time did he swallow any water, but he was just having a real difficult time breathing," said Captain of the La Crosse Fire Department, Dan Skiles.

Ellefson was taken to Gundersen Health System for further examination.