Calgary Fire Department Warns of Bow River Rafting Hazard

The Calgary Fire Department aquatics team responded to multiple reports last weekend of rafters either stranded or in the water due to sudden and unexpected damage to their rafts. Water levels on the Bow River fluctuate unpredictably and are currently at a lower level. This has resulted in previously hidden hazards to be closer to the water surface and have created increased navigation hazards for river users.

One particularly hazardous location is just upstream from where the river passes under the Crowchild Trail bridge. Large amounts of rebar have been discovered protruding approximately four metres from shore near the island, very near to a standing wave on the north side in the main channel of the river. It is not readily visible as it is just below the surface of the water.

River users are advised to stay to the south side of the river at that location. This can be challenging as the current is strong in that area.

The aquatics team has temporarily marked the hazardous location with caution tape until a more permanent solution is put in place in the near future.

The Calgary Fire Department would like to remind all river users to always wear properly fitting life jackets or personal floatation devices when on the water.

Always SCOUTASSESS and DECIDE from shore before going on rivers, lakes and waterways.

  1. Scout the river for potential hazards and check the weather and water conditions.
  2. Assess the level of danger. Check for river advisories and assess the swimming and paddling skills of your crew.
  3. Decide if it is safe to raft or boat

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