Calgary Fire Department Reminds River Users to Use Extreme Caution When Recreating on the Water

On Wednesday, July 6 at approximately 6:40 in the evening, the Calgary Fire Department aquatics team was dispatched to the 7100 block of Bow Crescent for reports of two people who had fallen into the Bow River. One person was calling for help and the other was possibly trapped under the paddleboards they were using.

Firefighters from the aquatics team as well as firefighters from 15 engine found the one patient in the water and started CPR as soon as they pulled them out. On shore, patient care was then transferred to EMS paramedics. The patient was transported to hospital in critical life-threatening condition.

This is a tragic accident, and the Calgary Fire Department would like to share some safety tips. Where there is water, there is risk and although that risk can never be completely eliminated, informing yourself and your family/friends about the rules and best water safety practices is imperative.

  • Never hard tie two or more watercrafts together in swift water:
    • The line connecting the two can get caught and pull the watercrafts underwater which in turn can pull people underwater and trap them
  • Watercrafts such as paddle boards and surf boards, have leashes that can attach to the user, which prevents the board from floating away if you fall off:

o   When using these types of watercrafts on a river, it is safest to have a quick release which will prevent the line from getting tangled and potentially pulling people under water, another option is to have a knife or other cutting tool or to attach the leash to a more accessible portion of your body such as a wrist or not wear the leash on swift water.

Please click on the link below for water safety tips from the Canadian Red Cross:

Water Safety In, On, and Around Rivers - Canadian Red Cross