05/18/2012 09:23 am ET Updated May 18, 2012

Kurt Heersema Saves Ducklings From Sewer On His Lunch Break

Kurt Heersema was just grabbing lunch at a Tinley Park, Ill. deli Wednesday when he noticed a duck frantically making noise and circling a sewer grate.

When the 24-year-old automotive technician and former Boy Scout saw eight ducklings trapped in the sewer below the grate, he ran back to the Infinity of Orland Park where he worked to grab his tools, UPI reports. When he returned, Heersema pried up the sewer grate and climbed down.

“It was about six feet deep into the manhole, so I climbed in there," Heersema told CBS Chicago. "I had a bucket; took a couple ducks out at a time, got them all out...[The hardest part] was trying to keep my balance and not fall into the water in the sewer, because it was kind of nasty."

After fishing out the ducklings, Heersema and a group of onlookers escorted the mother and her brood across busy 159th Street, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. When they asked cars to stop for the ducklings, one witness says drivers happily complied, and some even congratulated Heersema on his heroics.

Photo by Beckstei on Flickr.