River Safety Day aims to educate ahead of busy boating season
The South Saskatchewan River will soon be bustling with boats of all shapes and sizes.
“It’s really beautiful, but it’s been getting really, really busy,” said Joan Steckhan, the owner and operator of the Prairie Lily.
“It’s a beautiful river but let’s use it safely and courteously,” Steckhan said.
That was the message behind the first River Safety Day on Saturday at River Landing.
River user organizations from around Saskatoon presented demonstrations to teach the public more about being safe on the river.
Some displays were on board the Prairie Lily, which was anchored in the river, with free transportation to and from.
Saskatoon Search and Rescue was on site showing the public how its crews conduct near water searches.
While the Saskatoon Fire Department handles the search from the river, the volunteer search and rescue crew tackles the shoreline.
“The river is a huge draw for people from Saskatoon. It’s what we love about this city, but it’s also what makes it quite dangerous in the summer. Typically we are involved in some sort of search at least once a year that involves the river,” said Kent Orosz, a search manager with Saskatoon Search and Rescue.
The safety day covered topics ranging from how to deal with hypothermia, to what to do if your canoe capsizes, as well as various safety regulations.
“It’s summertime and you want to have a beverage, you want to have a beer. Don’t do it on your boat, it’s not legal. We do see that on the river, drinking and boating. It’s not allowed and it’s not safe,” Steckhan said.
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