BAL HARBOUR, Fla. -

A man who apparently fell into the choppy waters off Bal Harbour is now recovering.

Cellphone video captured the pained moans of Claude Verger on Wednesday morning.

"There's no doubt in my mind and in anybody who was at the scene -- you see the conditions of the surf -- that the officers in case actually saved this person's life," said Police Chief Mark Overton. "These officers who rushed basically out of their stations at roll call, jumped in the boat and then were able to get over there."

The 72-year-old man visiting from Canada fell off the jetty during a walk along Haulover into one of the strongest currents of any county inlet on a blustery windswept day.

"Just treading water, just trying to keep his head above water," said Detective Paul Eppler. "There's 5 to 6-foot seas and waves were crashing on him, on the boat."

From the call for help by a witness to the dramatic rescue by sharp-eyed Bal Harbour officers who rushed out on the marine unit, was a matter of minutes in a case where every second counted.

"I had to maneuver the boat close enough to him where we could throw him a line, pull him in," said Eppler. "Don't know how much long he would've lasted on the boat. He was all cramped up."

"I was startled. The chances of us locating people -- we have a lot of people fall in the water and a lot of the times we don't find them," said Sgt. Raul Martinez. "We were lucky, he was lucky."

Verger was taken to Aventura Hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.