The captain of the biggest boat plying the waters of the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon is asking people to be a bit more wary of his 70-ton vessel.
Captain Mike Steckhan operates the 120-passenger Prairie Lily riverboat, which has become a feature of summertime in Saskatoon since it launched in 2012.
He told The Brent Loucks Show Monday that he loves being out on the water, but is starting to become concerned with the behaviour of other boaters and swimmers.
“You get a few who get excited about what they’re doing or they get inattentive to what’s going around them. No situational awareness, and bad things can happen,” he said
Steckhan said the Prairie Lily regularly gets cut off by canoes and other smaller craft.
Last week, a boat pulling a tube and a wake board dropped its passengers directly in front of the ship.
Steckhan said people need to understand the ship may not be able to manoeuvre around people and boats that get too close.
“We may not necessarily be able to move around you or change our course, simply because we have to follow the deepest part of the channel.”
In another incident, a swimmer reportedly came within 10 feet of the ship.
With a large pair of propellers spinning under the boat at between 1000 and 1500 revolutions-per-minute, Steckhan stressed getting too close could lead to serious injury or death.
He urged people to be smart in the water.
“We don’t cut people off on the freeway, so don’t cut off a powerboat with your canoe because, you know, you’re going to have troubles.”