By Mike Grijalva
If you have an emergency situation on a King Co. River, you are the first to be able to do something about it and get a person out of danger. After that, your backup is the King Co. Marine/River Rescue Unit, dial 911, and be connected. Be prepared with accurate site location description and details of the situation. Be aware that it is likely to take at least an hour before they can respond and get to your site. Their unit responds to on water emergencies in the Puget Sound, lakes and rivers, in all of King Co., a lot of territory. They have to assemble the team, and needed gear, and then travel to you. A helicopter may be an option, at their discretion. Be aware that when they arrive, they will then take charge and you may be asked to step aside.
You should be trained and prepared in several modes of assisting. A boater pinned in his boat, in a tree or rock sieve, can be assisted by a wading rescue of one or more people. A line can be thrown to him to provide support. A tensioned diagonal line can get people and gear to him in deeper water. A boat can be used to get to him to provide assistance. You should have at least a strong throw rope, with a few carabiners, a pulley and some sling material for an anchor. And your knowledge and training in such emergencies, can be the most important asset you have.