Saskatoon Fire Department reminds public to practice water safety along South Saskatchewan River

The South Saskatchewan River is seen here along Saskatoon's Spadina Crescent East.

The Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) is advising the public to be mindful and use increased caution in and around the South Saskatchewan River.

Thefire department says while the river can be fun and relaxing during the summer, safety should be top of mind when people approach the water.

People are advised to evaluate the weather, equipment and water conditions from the shore before approaching the fire, according to a news release from the city.

Swimming is prohibited in the South Saskatchewan River. Wading or walking through the water is allowed unless otherwise posted.

The city recommends people wear protective footwear when walking along the river's shore to avoid cuts from sharp rocks or other hazards.

BEING RESPECTFUL

When launching a watercraft or boat on the river, operators should be familiar with boating regulations and follow the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide.

Watercraft operators are required to have a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) on board for each person, this includes both human and motor-powered crafts, the city said.

River users are reminded to maintain proper etiquette and be considerate of others:

• Operate your craft at a safe speed.

• Maintain a respectful distance from other river users.

• Do not operate a craft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

• Ensure your craft is equipped with appropriate markers and lighting. 

• Care for the environment by properly launching, fuelling, starting, and loading your craft.

RESCUE TIPS

If you witness someone in distress in the river:

• Call 911 immediately to report the incident, noting details about the individual, time, and situation.

• Keep track of recognizable landmarks around the area where the individual was first seen in distress in the water.

• Coach the individual from the shore edge on the below noted tips for water self-rescue.

In the event that you are in distress in the river:

• Stay calm. 

• Keep your head above the water.

• Remove any heavy or bulky clothing items.

• Don’t fight the current; move with the current as you work your way to the shore edge.