A 7-year-old boy who fell through ice and was submerged in 40-degree water for nearly 20 minutes was in critical condition, and authorities said his prognosis was good.

Dwayne Peterson of Millcreek Township was in the intensive care unit at Saint Vincent Health Center Sunday night.The boy was fishing on Presque Isle Bay with his father Saturday morning when he fell into the bay and through the ice. Witnesses said another young boy tried to pull him out but stopped when he nearly fell in.

The boy's father also tried but could not find the youngster.

Dwayne was eventually pulled from the bay by John Wronek of the Erie County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue SCUBA Team, who said the water was about 18 feet deep and very dark.

The child had no heartbeat.

Wronek said the cold water may help the boy's fight for survival because it tends to slow down body functions and defer the effects of being underwater for a period of time, Wronek said.