By Dana Kozlov

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man has been taken to the hospital in serious-to-critical condition after he was rescued from the lake at Montrose Harbor.

The man was trying to rescue one of his three dogs. It happened near the bird sanctuary and pier and if it weren’t for a cross country skier and a first time runner to this area, he would not have survived.

“I believe in God and definitely think he directed my footsteps here tonight,” said Adam Dominik.

And by all account, Dominik’s footsteps and knot-tying savvy helped save the man’s life. He’d fallen into the lake trying to rescue his runaway dog. Dominik happened to be running by.

“Saw a lady, she was screaming and wasn’t really sure what was going on,” said Dominik.

He went to investigate and realized the lady, Lynn Gerhard, was desperately trying to keep the victim alive.

“I basically peered around the edge and he was fully submerged in the water, just his face was kind of popping out,” said Dominik.

“I just kept telling to keep talkin’ to him, ya know,” said Gerard.

Gerhard called 9-1-1. Dominik found a piece of yellow construction twine, made a double figure eight, follow through loop and hoisted the man onto an ice ledge.

Meanwhile, members of the Chicago Police Marine Unit were frantically trying to find them all.

“He was driving, I was running, and we were just frantically, desperately trying to locate this person because time was of the essence,” said police officer Jean McCarthy.

They found them and pulled the man and his dog to safety. The other two pooches with him are also okay.

“He did a fantastic job. This man owes everything to him,” said police officer Kevin Kelly.

Both Adam Dominik and Lynn Gerhard says the victim, in his 40’s, wanted them to save his dog first.

Police officers say he is in the hospital but expected to survive thanks to two would-be passers-by now heroes.