October 19th, 2017

Search for missing swimmer resumes, while others continue to use what officials stress is a very dangerous river


By Tim Kalinowski on June 13, 2017.


tkalinowski@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNTimKal

The search for a young man believed to have drowned in the South Saskatchewan River May 31 resumed in a limited way Sunday when a Southeast Alberta Search and Rescue boat went back on the water.

The crew used sonar to do some scanning of the river and some visual reconnaissance of the waters in the area where the victim was last seen, but had no success.

The Medicine Hat Fire Services boat did not go out Sunday but responded to another report of an unidentified object in the water on Monday, which again turned out to be a false alarm.

Deputy fire chief Lance Purcell said he appreciates those who are keeping an eye on the river and calling in to report when they see something unusual.

“People are looking and watching. We do appreciate people are trying to help us find this missing man, and it’s always good to have the public looking.”

Looking is fine, said Purcell, but stressed once again: The river is not safe.

“If you look at the flow rates, they were higher on the weekend than when we actually called off the initial search. They were at about 600 cubic metres per second, and there were still people going on the river. I saw one guy water-skiing and another guy kayaking down the river a few days ago. Our concern is when it goes poorly for them; then we have to put our guys at risk to rescue them. That’s not right. We just ask people, please stay off.”


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