An Alaskan man risked his life on his birthday to save an inexperienced kayaker who was caught in raging rapids Saturday. The New York Post shared a video Thursday showing the heart-stopping rescue of Daniel Hartung.

The 64-year-old man was whitewater kayaking for the first time and had experience of kayaking recreationally on flat water. During Saturday’s Six-Mile Creek Whitewater and Bluegrass Festival in Hope, Alaska, Hartung set off with his kayak to experience the turbulent waters, going through narrow passages hitting unavoidable waves, the Alaska Dispatch News reported. 

After passing through some waterfalls, strong currents made him slip from his kayak and he fell into the turbulent waters. Hartung struggled in the frigid water. He yelled for help: "We've got a swimmer!"

Just moments later Obadiah Jenkins, of Homer, Alaska, who was celebrating his 33rd birthday came to Hartung's rescue. He managed to free him from under a log where Hartung got stuck and after a few minutes got him out of the water. According to Alaska Dispatch News, Jenkins first dropped a rope down to Hartung, however, he could not hear any instructions due to the rushing water.

“I was draped over the log like a C,” Hartung later told the newspaper. “It was encouraging to see the rope and know that people were there responding.”

Jenkins told Alaska Dispatch News that he jumped into the water to rescue Hartung as he feared for the kayaker's life.

For almost 45 seconds, Hartung's face was forced into the current raising more concerns as he was unable to breathe.

"The water was so forceful that I could not get myself out of it. I could lift my head slightly above the water to breathe," Hartung told ABC News. "The more I tried to extract myself, the lower my head went until I was not able to breathe anymore."

Jenkins and Hartung were pulled to the shore by other rescuers after the kayaker was freed from the log. Later, people performed CPR on Hartung and resuscitated him.

“People said afterwards that Daniel was too inexperienced, didn’t have the right equipment and had no business kayaking this river,” Jenkins told the newspaper. 

"As I was calculating the risks of what I was about to do, none of that mattered. It was my birthday and I just wanted that guy to have another birthday. My brain went into automatic mode, and I knew that if I didn't act immediately, we would be recovering a body," he added

“He was a fighter,” Jenkins said. “To hang on that long in that cold water was pretty impressive. After two rounds of doing chest compressions to him on the riverbank, his wife came down and talked to him. You could tell that hearing her voice helped bring him around. His pulse came back and he began breathing on his own.”

Hartung suffered a broken rib in the incident and is currently being treated at his home, ABC News reported. 

“This guy is a true hero,” Hartung said, adding that he would want to buy Jenkins dinner for saving his life.