The Calgary Fire Department had to rescue a woman Saturday afternoon after she fell into the Bow River while rafting.

Just after 4:15 p.m. MT, a group of four were floating down the river on two rafts they had tethered together. One of the rafts struck a submerged tree and flipped over, forcing two women into the water.

One woman was able to swim to shore but the other was clinging to the tree and unable to get to the riverbank.

The other raft stayed upright and continued downstream with two men on board. They eventually exited the water downstream.

After attaching to a safety line, a rescuer with the Calgary Fire Department Dive Team entered the river and secured the women. The rescuer and woman were then pulled ashore by members of the Aquatics Rescue Team.

The woman was assessed by EMS and released. She told responders she might have drowned if not for her personal flotation device.

Officials are reminding Calgarians that although the ban on the Bow River is lifted, conditions on the river are still dangerous and pose a considerable risk to anyone on the river in any type of watercraft.

Fire department officials are advising Calgarians to keep the following safety tips in mind when around the river:

  • All river passengers should be wearing a life-jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) on the water.
  • Do not tie or tether boats or rafts together.
  • All river users should be prepared for a variety of conditions.
  • All river vessels should have a sounding device such as a whistle, a buoyant heaving line (throw-bag) no less than 15 metres long and a bailer.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs while on the water.
  • Recreational river users should exit the river before Harvie Passage and re-enter the river downstream of those rapids.