Just a day after the Calgary Police and Calgary Animal & Bylaw Services launched their summer awareness rafting education and enforcement campaign, a close called happened near Calgary’s “drowning machine.”
On Saturday at 9:10 p.m., the Calgary Fire Department’s Aquatic Rescue Team was called out to rescue four women, all in their 20s, who were holding onto the safety boom near the weir.
“It just seemed like the stars were all in line for these four ladies,” said Jeff Budai, public information officer with the Calgary Fire Department.
Budai said that all four women, who are from Edmonton, were wearing lifejackets and that a number of people around the area called 9-1-1 allowing the aquatics team to respond quickly.
Budai hopes the rescue acts as a reminder for people that the weir is a dangerous place and that it’s important be prepared when heading out rafting.
“It’s been labelled the drowning machine for a reason. We try to make (sure) people are well aware of that and that they’re staying away from that area, especially when rafting,” said Budai.
Budai said it’s important for people to have a plan when heading out rafting and make sure to tell someone where you plan to start and stop. “If something should happen and someone goes missing the aquatics team would have a place to start,” said Budai.
He also said to always wear a lifejacket, don’t tie rafts together and respect others’ property.