Boat, dock, float away in strong current on Red River

It's something you don't see every day. A dock without a river bank. And a boat without a driver.

Winnipeg Fire Dept says it underlines public safety message: stay off rivers

This boat was spotted at the Forks Friday, floating away. People who work on the river said there's a lot of debris in the high river water. (Janice Moeller/CBC)

It's something you don't see every day. A dock without a river bank. And a boat without a driver.

The floating objects Friday spotted at the Forks gave Marc Proulx, public education officer with the Winnipeg Fire Department, a chance to underline his message.

Stay away from rising river water.

Proulx said it is not safe to be on the rivers right now.

"The Red River is known for notorious under currents, so even though you think 'I can just go for a dip', it's not going to work that way," he said. "Even a stronger swimmer would defiantly struggle and be in a lot of trouble with this water way."

Proulx said evidence of how strong the current is just about floated away today.

"A piece of the dock detached at Redboine [Boating Club on Churchill Drive] and the gentleman whose boat is attached to that piece of dock called it in, called 911 and said, "By the way, my boat is floating down the river."

High water levels at the Forks are having an impact on businesses that depend on the river.

Gord Cartwright, the owner of Splash Dash boat tours at The Forks, said his business is hurting. "We're not running at a hundred per cent," he said. "We have seven boats but we can only use four boats during high water cause that's all our docks can handle."

Cartwright's water bus service has been anchored because all the stops along the river are under water. 

"We won't be able to operate that business probably at all this year," he said. "We didn't run it last year due to high water and we can't run it this year."