With the above seasonal temperatures southern Alberta seen last week, the snow in the Rocky Mountains has begun to melt. The increased water is causing the Oldman River to flow at a faster rate than normal, and this could be dangerous for people floating, swimming and kayaking. The Lethbridge Fire Department is reminding residents to plan ahead and take safety precautions before entering the water.
“We like to see people wearing personal flotation devices, no alcohol, take footwear with you in case your flotation device springs a leak and you have to go walking through the wilderness to find a path.,” says Brendon Pyne, Lethbridge Fire & Emergency Services’ Water Rescue Co-Team Lead.
“Give your flotation [device] a good expectation before you go float, make sure it is going to hold air. Another important thing is, filing a float plan with somebody, letting them know where you’re going to go in, where you’re going to be taken out and how long you expect that trip to take,” says Pyne.
Last week, LPS recovered two plastic rafts that were deflated. Pyne adds that people need to remove everything from the water when leaving.