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Rescue of stranded kayakers near Canmore prompts reminder to be cautious on fast rivers

Rescue officials in Kananaskis Country and the Canmore area are advising people to use extra caution on waterways after two kayakers had to be rescued from a logjam on the Bow River Monday evening.

Paddlers got stuck on logjam on Bow River

Two kayakers had to be rescued on Monday evening after getting caught in a logjam on the Bow River in the Canmore area. (Canmore Fire Rescue Services)

Rescue officials in Kananaskis Country and the Canmore area are advising people to use extra caution on waterways after two kayakers had to be rescued from a logjam on the Bow River Monday evening.

"These two came around a corner, it was a bit of a blind corner, and as they were travelling downstream with some speed, they didn't have time to react to the logjam that was across the entire river and got caught up there," said Jeremy Mackenzie, a public safety specialist with Alberta Parks. 

Rescue crews used a jet boat to get the paddlers off the river. There were no injuries.

Rescue crews take a jet boat out of the Bow River near Canmore Monday after successfully rescuing two stranded paddlers. (Canmore Fire Rescue Services)

"This was a very close call for the paddlers and could have ended with a much worse outcome," Kananaskis Public Safety said on a Facebook post. 

The water is cold, running high and fast, and there's an increase in logjams and floating debris — so extra precautions must be taken, officials say.

Canmore fire rescue Chief Walter Gahler says paddlers need to expect the unexpected.

Using a jet boat, rescue crews were able to get the paddlers off the river with no injuries. (Canmore Fire Rescue Services)

"If you're able to stay in a specific area and not be swept downstream and you're comfortable with that, do it safely. But if you are on a river tour and unfamiliar with it, you're gonna run into hazards downstream that you didn't expect," he said.

"So our advice right now, it's not a ban, but our advice is to consider some different paddling options until the flows have reduced."

Mackenzie said people need to bring proper safety equipment and proceed cautiously when travelling along rivers in order to scout and avoid hazards.

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