Edmonton

Pembina River doesn't run 'in a circle,' tubing enthusiasts warned

RCMP in west-central Alberta are reminding tubing enthusiasts to take precauctions on the Pembina River, including knowing where they are headed.

RCMP are getting the usual reports of people stranded along the river

The Pembina River is a popular spot for tubing each summer. (CBC)

Tubing enthusiasts are being warned to take precautions on the Pembina River, including knowing where they are headed.

"I've had a number of people tell me that they were under the impression that the river either ran in a circle or looped back around towards the provincial park," Evansburg RCMP Cpl. Brandon Tobin said in a news release Tuesday.

"This is false information. If you're planning on tubing on the river DO NOT enter the river at the provincial park campgrounds, I can't stress that enough. The park is where you must exit the river.

"If you enter the river at this location or float past the park, you WILL be stranded."

On hot summer days, the river attracts crowds of people enjoying lazy floats downstream.

People often launch their tubes off the riverbanks near Entwistle, about 100 kilometres west of Edmonton, before getting off at Pembina River Provincial Park.

If people miss that exit, it's a seven-hour float down the river before the next exit at a camping area.

I've had a number of people tell me that they were under the impression that the river ... ran in a circle.- Cpl. Brandon Tobin

This summer, Evansburg RCMP have helped resolve several complaints including people stranded along the river.

Last weekend, the detachment had to ask for help from the RCMP's air services to fly two stranded tubers out of the river bed, Tobin said.

"This incident tied up resources that may have been needed for emergencies elsewhere. We encourage people to enjoy the river, but do so responsibly."

RCMP say visitors and area residents who plan to float down the river on tubes should take these precautions:

  • Know the area; review maps and understand how long your journey will take.
  • Notify a responsible person where you are going, who you are with, and the route you plan on taking.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather, including use of a wet suit when necessary.
  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol.
  • Bring a cellphone and store it properly for the conditions.