A woman was rescued from the Green River Saturday afternoon by Kent firefighters after she and her air mattress began floating down the river, fire department officials said.
Emergency responders got the call at 4:45 p.m. reporting that a woman without a life jacket was unable to get back to shore and was floating down the river. Firefighters said that at several points along the river, the woman grabbed onto objects that held her stationary for short periods of time. But she lost her grip and began floating again.
When members of the Kent Fire Department Surface Water Rescue Team got to her in an inflatable boat, the woman had lost her air mattress but had managed to climb onto a log.
Rescuers got her to shore and back to her family. After being checked out to ensure that she was not injured or hypothermic, the woman was allowed to leave the scene, fire officials said.
While this incident ended safely, firefighters throughout the area are preparing for other river and lake rescues as the weather begins to warm up. There are several things the public can do to increase their own safety before venturing into the water, according to the Kent Fire Department:
• Always have a buddy and a cell phone in a waterproof bag to call for help, if necessary.
• Always wear a fitted life jacket that has a U.S. Coast Guard seal of approval.
• Never mix alcohol and water sports.
• Always supervise children and pets when near any body of water.
• Never over estimate your swimming abilities.
Water in the Green River is currently at about 48 degrees — close to the same temperature as Puget Sound. There are many exposed rocks and trees that can easily trap a person or flip a raft over.