Quick-thinking fisherman credited with rescuing kayaker

Quick-thinking fisherman credited with rescuing kayaker »Play Video
Jon Pulling pulls an unidentified kayaker from Lake Ballinger on May 17, 2013.
MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. -- A quick-thinking fisherman is being credited with saving a kayaker who capsized in Mountlake Terrace Friday.

"(I heard) 'Help!' and it was in the distance out there," Jon Pulling said pointing where the rescue took place.

Pulling was out on Lake Ballinger after a day of fishing with friends when they saw a man whose kayak had capsized.

"The immediate response was just to run back down with the boat and launch it and run out and try to help the guy," Pulling said.

With the sound of sirens in the background, Pulling went after the man -- a complete stranger who wouldn't let go of his boat and appeared to be in hypothermic shock.

"And he went under, holding onto the kayak," Pulling said. "I dove and pulled him up and just held onto him and at that point I was yelling for the other boat on the lake."



Other boaters on the lake ignored his pleas for help, and making matters worse, the kayaker's life jacket didn't fit right. It was hindering him more than helping.

"He didn't tie it in the back and so he was starting to sink," Pulling said. "His head went under a couple of times and I had to reach and pull him out."

Eventually, fire crews arrived and took the man out of the lake. The man was later able to thank Pulling for the rescue.

"He shook my hand very sincerely and didn't really want to let go, and just thanked me for helping him out," Pulling said.

Pulling had a camera in his boat because he owns a video production company that often records outdoor sports.

Fire officials wouldn't identify the victim but said he was treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Pulling had a camera in his boat because he owns a video production company that often records outdoor sports.