July 20th, 2024

Officials reminding people about river safety after rescue of boy, 13, in Medicine Hat

By Medicine Hat News on May 10, 2017.

The morning after a river rescue local authorities say people should make safety a priority when near the South Saskatchewan River.

At the same time, Alberta Environment reports that water levels are much higher than usual at this time of year.

Police report that at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, firefighters used their jet boat to retrieve a 13-year-old boy who was stranded on a small island near the community of Ranchlands.

Three boys had been playing on the river bank in the evening, when one was swept away by a swift current.

He was carried about 300 metres before he could swim towards the island, where he was retrieved unharmed by the Medicine Hat Fire Service.

“It’s not something that we have to deal with very often, but it’s an important reminder about the public safety aspects,” said S/Sgt. Mark Fentiman on Wednesday morning.

Data from Alberta Environment shows that river levels have more than tripled since late last week, from a seasonal low flow of about 100 cubic metres per second to about 370 on Wednesday morning.

The river at Medicine Hat reaches its typical peak flow in June with an average year high flow mark of about 900.

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