I am not being tongue in cheek here; I am really serious. Was swimming not an option? I don't know the conditions you were facing, but for me the thing to do would have been to go upriver or downriver until I found a slow pool, and then swim across. Even if the river was up somewhat I think it would be crossable, but of course not everyone swims so well, etc. I just had to ask.
That said, I have been stranded myself on the Clinch (water came on, I thought it was a one hour pulse and stayed on the island... about two hours later, despite my vehement yelling that I did not need a rescue and would wait it out, here comes the county's boat and a very amused officer). Of course the Clinch is much bigger water and with the strainer of the weir dam right there, I didn't want to risk a swim.
I swim a lot while angling in summer so maybe I'm just used to it?