Saskatoon Fire’s First Battalion Chief is warning the public to stay away from the riverbanks and to keep their pets on a leash after another rescue in the South Saskatchewan River.
A dog was spotted falling through the ice near Sutherland Beach around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, prompting a water and ice rescue crew to venture out to save the furry friend.
During the operation, a Saskatoon Fire crew member nearly fell through the ice. The dog was saved.
It’s the third time water rescue crews have been deployed in the past week, after two different reports of people in the river on April 20 and April 23. Neither of those people were located.
“It’s very challenging right now because of the instability of the ice,” Battalion Chief Len Protz said.
“People don’t realize the strong current is melting the ice from under, not only the sun melting from above.”
The experienced firefighter said the melting and breaking of the ice is also dangerous for his rescue crews.
He said floating ice may look small and light to people walking along the river, but it can cause problems for rescue equipment.
“It will actually push our boats when they’re double-anchored,” he said.”Also for our divers their tether lines will become entangled and pull them under.”
Protz added the ice has also been pulling their anchor lines to the point where the boats are drifting.
He had a simple message for residents walking near the river.
“Stay away from the river’s edge … keep your dog on a leash, and stay off the ice.”