Where there’s water, there’s risk

The City of Calgary is urging Calgarians to stay safe on our waterways this summer.

Each year, the Calgary Fire Department and the Calgary Police Service respond to a lot of calls to help citizens on our waterways. Staying safe while enjoying recreation activities on or near water is extremely important, and we have compiled some information to help you and your families stay safe.

It is important to scout, assess and decide before going on Calgary’s waterways:

  • Scout the waterway for potential hazards, check weather and water conditions.
  • Assess the level of danger. Check for waterway advisories at and check the swimming and paddling skills of your group.
  • If you decide to go on a waterway, make sure you have the following:
  • A watercraft that is appropriate for the waterway and meets your weight capacity or that of your group.
  • Proper paddles or oars to help you control your watercraft and steer around bridge pillars.
  • Correctly fitting lifejackets or personal flotation devices for you and everyone in the watercraft.
  • A water safety kit.

According to the Water Safety Bylaw, when on Calgary’s waterways a lifejacket or personal flotation device must be worn by everyone on a watercraft. A ticket for failing to wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device includes a mandatory court appearance and up to $500 in fines.

“We want everyone to be as safe as possible while enjoying Calgary’s beautiful waterways,” says Carol Henke of the Calgary Fire Department. “Please carry a water safety kit, don’t consume alcohol or drugs and know what to do if you see someone in trouble. Make sure that you and your family and friends are informed and prepared before going onto the water.”

Citizens are asked to keep off boat launch areas when not launching your boat as Calgary Fire needs to be able to quickly access the launches for emergencies. Also please obey all parking signage, only park in designated parking areas. 

To learn more about water safety, visit