Saskatoon crews call off search for person in river

Saskatoon firefighters have suspended their search for a person reported to have fallen through the river ice

Emergency crews in Saskatoon have suspended their search for a person that was seen breaking through the ice Sunday morning on the South Saskatchewan River. 

A witness called police at about 12:30 a.m.. CST saying they saw what looked to be a man walk onto the river ice from Rotary Park then disappear. 

The passerby says the person had walked about 150 meters out, just east of the Sid Buckwold Bridge. 

Greg Sayer is with the fire department. He says crews confirmed there were footprints leading to an open area in the river, but not returning.

"We dispatched our crews right away, put our boat in the water right away." Sayer said. "That would have been our best time to be successful in finding somebody. As time goes on the chances are probably less and less that we'll be successful of finding them until perhaps spring."

Firefighters searched for the person from the last point they were seen, as well as downstream. An air ambulance was also called out to help with the search. 

It was too dangerous for divers to search in the water, due to the time of night and weather conditions.

"There's very little we can do because of the ice cap. Approximately 4/5 of the river in the area of downtown Saskatoon is under ice. Further down stream the ice is across the entire river. So it's almost impossible to do any type of search," Sayer explained.

Crews searched the river for an hour and a half Sunday morning.