Fire District 7 responded to a Skykomish River rescue just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, near the confluence of the Snohomish River.

Two men and one woman, all in their 20s, were traveling in separate flotation devices, said Fire District 7 public information officer Heather Chadwick. Two were tethered together when the pair of rafts snagged on a tree. One person was able to swim to shore before responders arrived, she said.

One of the rafts was taking on water by the time they were pulled into a rescue boat, Chadwick said. All three were taken to a boat launch where medical units were waiting to perform evaluations, she said.

Chadwick said the three rafters refused a hospital transport, but each suffered from minor hypothermia.

“It wasn’t a good day to be on the river,” Fire Chief Eric Andrews said. “They all had life preservers on, but it was not a good time of year because of the coldness.”

It was also a rainy day, and during this part of the season the waters are high and moving fast, Andrews said. The rafts used by the group were also not very sturdy, and were better suited for a pool or calm lake. The members of the small group were not wearing warm clothing, which is critical in early spring, he said.

These kinds of rescues are rare for this time of year, because it is not recommended to be on the water at all, unless traveling with a professional guide, Andrews said. Chadwick said there are seen and unseen hazards, such as large rocks and fallen trees or branches that rafts can run into.

“Fire District 7 wants to remind citizens that the river is very cold this time of year and higher due to snow melt,” according to a fire district news release. “Small inflatable rafts are also not recommended due to many dangers on the river and hidden below the water. Furthermore, everyone should wear a properly fitted life jacket when on the river.”