Rescue teams were on the Skagit River Saturday afternoon, trying to find a missing boater near Sedro-Woolley after an empty boat was found.
Witnesses saw the operator in the water struggling to get back into the boat, they do not believe he was wearing a life jacket.
A short time later, the man's boat floated to the shoreline with his dog and personal belongings still onboard.
Dive teams and helicopters searched for several hours but they didn't find any signs of the boater.
People who live in the area jumped into their own boats to help out.
"We were looking for tracks where he could have got out and we couldn't find anything," said Nick Stormont.
Stormont and others were standing near the missing man's boat when his phone started ringing.
"Somebody's looking for him already wanting to know why he didn't answer his phone," said Donnie Adkerson.
When darkness fell, the search had to be called off.
Water levels are very high this year and neighbors say this situation has them thinking twice about their own safety.
"Sometimes I don't wear a life jacket but you sure should because things can happen that fast," said Stormont. "It's scary especially when you have a family that's waiting at home for you."