911 dispatcher sends mother to rescue stranded boater

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CATHLAMET, Wash. — A 911 dispatcher in Washington state called on her own mother to rescue a stranded boater in the Columbia River, knowing her mother could kayak to the area faster than sending the sheriff’s office patrol boat.

A 45-year-old kayaker was hanging onto a log piling Sunday afternoon after her kayak sank in swift current near a jetty, Wahkiakum County dispatcher Raedyn Grasseth told The Daily News.

The woman was paddling with a companion when her kayak sank.

“Jetties are very dangerous,” Grasseth said Monday. “The currents around them are horrible. It sounds likes her kayak just got sucked toward the jetty and went down.”

Her companion left to seek help.

The stranded woman “hung onto the jetty until she could climb up and get on to as much of the log piling as she could and waited,” Grasseth said.

Grasseth notified the sheriff’s office, then realized her mother, Cindy Faubion, and other members of her family lived nearby and could get there quicker.

“I knew they could be there within five to 10 minutes,” Grasseth said.

She called her mother, Cindy Faubion, who is a kayaker. Faubion and other family members quickly paddled to the piling in a kayak and a skiff.

The rescued woman was cold and shaken but did not require medical care.

The woman was visiting from out of town, had limited boating experience and wasn’t familiar with the treacherous waters near the mouth of the Columbia River.

“She’s lucky she’s alive, plain and simple,” Grasseth said.

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