Calgary, AB,

Agencies come together to search Bow River

For the third consecutive year, the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Fire Department will be conducting a search of the Bow River in an attempt to find any missing persons who may have ended up in or on the banks of the river. This year, the search will be assisted by the Calgary Search and Rescue Association (CALSARA).

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, CPS will use HAWCS to conduct an aerial search, while CPS, CFD and CALSARA conduct ground and water searches of the Bow River and its banks. The search will begin at the Bearspaw Dam in the northwest and will move south to the city limits.

“In Calgary, we receive approximately 3,500 missing person reports each year. Most of those people are found, but there have been cases where people have voluntarily or involuntarily entered our waterways and have not been able to get out,” said CPS Major Crimes Section Acting Inspector Paul Wozney. “The search is part of our due diligence to try to provide answers to families that may be missing their loved one.”

“We want to do anything we can to support this search,” said Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Carol Henke. “If anything of note is spotted, the Calgary Fire Department Aquatic Rescue divers with members of CPS will be deployed to investigate further.”

“Although this is our first year assisting in the Bow River search, we are proud of the longstanding partnerships we have with both CPS and CFD,” said Mark Demong, a senior search manager with CALSARA. “Our dedicated, trained volunteers are pleased to support this search in any way we can.”

While CPS and CFD search the Bow River within the Calgary city limits, the Alberta RCMP Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Unit will deploy the RCMP helicopter along the Bow River from the southern city limits and continue east toward the Saskatchewan border.

Should any bodies be retrieved, CPS would work with the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the identity of the individual and ensure no criminal offence has been committed.

The search is being conducted as water levels of the Bow River are at their lowest and clearest at this time of year.