A boy fell into Minnehaha Creek south of the falls Thursday afternoon chasing after a ball and was floating toward the much more perilous Mississippi River before two emergency responders pulled him to safety, authorities said.

The 12-year-old boy was being "swept down the creek" but kept himself calm enough" to grab onto a log in time for a Park Patrol agent and a responding paramedic to save the boy, said Dawn Sommers, spokeswoman for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

The boy "had an incredible ride as he headed toward the Mississippi River," Sommers said. "It's incredible that he didn't get to the river," which she described as "fast and high at this time of year."

A Minneapolis Police Department spokeswoman said the boy was trying to get his football out of the water.

Authorities were alerted to the emergency about 1:50 p.m., Sommers said. The park agent was already in the area, she said.

The agent walked onto the log, which extended into the creek, while the paramedic went in the water to bring the boy to dry land, the spokeswoman said.

Initial word is the boy came away unscathed from his anxious and wet experience.