The escape valve for a live-bait rescue is pulling the quick release buckle.  At that point, the rescuer and swimmer will be free floating downstream and will need help making it safely and quickly to shore.  It can be very difficult swimming a person to shore in rough water.  A throw rope and safety boater downstream are necessary for safety.

I also recommend sending someone upstream to warn off other boaters from entering rescue scene.  This is always a wise precaution when working with rope based rescues.