TORONTO -- An Ontario man said he was skating on his lunch break when he came across three deer stranded on a frozen lake and decided to take action.

Ryan Peterson knew he had to act fast once he’d spotted the animals while he was skating on Lake of the Woods, near Kenora, Ont., on Dec. 3.

“I went back to work and grabbed some rope. The ice was still too thin for any kind of vehicle, so skating was the only option,” Peterson told social news monitoring site Storyful.

While on his skates, he said he managed to tie the ropes around each of the deer and dragged them all to the edge of the ice. There, some of the animals regained their balance and stood up.

“The two younger ones took off running right away, but the doe stuck around with what seemed like an injured hip or leg,” Peterson said.

He said the Ontario Natural Resources Ministry told him employees wouldn’t immediately be able to safely help, since the lake was not entirely frozen. It’s unclear if and when staff did end up showing up.

With files from Storyful