Wash. dispatcher sends own mom to help capsized kayaker

This is the skiff that was used to reach the kayaker.


by KGW Staff

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Posted on April 2, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 8:36 AM

CATHLAMET, Wash. -- A dispatcher in the small town of Cathlamet, Washington, sent her own mom to rescue a capsized kayaker because she feared police were too far away.

Someone called 911 on Easter Sunday to report that a kayaker had capsized in the Columbia River, just east of Cathlamet, and needed help – fast.

Dispatcher Raeyden Grasseth knew her family was close by but the police patrol boat was not.

So she called her mom on the phone and asked her to check it out.

Cynthia Faubian saw the capsized kayaker clinging to a piling in the Columbia River. She grabbed a kayak herself, then paddled out to help.

At the same time, Faubian’s husband and nephew rushed over in a small skiff.

The trio worked together to pull the soaked and stranded kayaker to safety.

“I said, ‘Are you okay?’ And she said, ‘Yeah.’ She was okay, she was just wet and cold,” Faubian recalled.

Meantime, Grasseth alerted a deputy to respond as well.

“I’m proud to live in a community where people are so willing to help out, it’s wonderful,” she said.

The kayaker was cold, but did not require any serious medical care of hospitalization.