The number one rule for SWR is the rescuer's safety comes first.  Be honest with yourself, do you really have the skills and training to make that rescue.  On a recent boating trip, a paddler got stuck in a hydraulic and was having trouble getting out upright.  Another boater that isn't used to playing sizable holes decided to do a boat based rescue.  His boat got pulled in as well but fortunately, the hole eventually let them both escape.  Was this a wise decision - hell no!  I have seen boaters get their ribs broken from friendly but inexperienced boat based hole rescues.  If both paddlers end up swimming, we have a lot more people and gear to rescue.  Perhaps a throw line would be more effective and safer.  This is why we teach RETHROG.

When leading novices, it is a good idea to send them to shore when a rescue is needed.  They can set safety above and below the rapids and retrieve any gear that gets sweept downstream.  This allows the more seasoned paddlers to concentrate on the rescue and not worry about others getting into trouble.