SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue made a daring nighttime water rescue after receiving a distress call from a man in a small boat on the Skykomish River near Monroe on Tuesday.
Despite treacherous conditions, responders coordinated efforts, with Incident Command mapping safe access points along the river. Darkness and hazardous waters made launching a boat too risky, prompting a plan to intercept the man downstream near SR-522.
Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue
Chief Walters from Snohomish County Fire District 26 deployed a drone in heavy rain, locating the man in an aluminum boat without oars. As rescue teams positioned themselves, the man passed the confluence of two rivers and headed toward SR-522. Coordination between responders and 911 guided the man as firefighters readied a rope from the overpass.
Firefighter Brooks successfully tossed the rope to the man, but the river's force turned the boat, ejecting him into the turbulent waters filled with debris. Despite the ordeal, the man swam to shore near Three Rivers Mobile Home Park, clutching onto a tree.
At 7:40 PM, after a challenging journey through dense bushes, rescue teams extracted the man, who, despite being in the water for over an hour, managed to walk to a nearby medic unit without any shoes. Approximately 4 miles from the initial location, the rescue involved 23 personnel from various departments.
Authorities emphasized the peril of flooded rivers and urged against venturing into fast-running waters in boats or disregarding road closures due to flooding. The man's survival stands as a testament to the dangers these conditions pose.