Saskatchewan RCMP is warning the public to stay safe near lakes and rivers after responding to three separate drownings in the north within two weeks.
A six-year-old boy was playing on a sandbar near Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation on Makwa Lake where he was swept away by strong currents. Loon Lake RCMP, nearby residents and search teams responded and continue to search for the boy.
RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Rob King said it’s unlikely the boy has survived.
“Of course we’re still hopeful and that would be the best possible outcome,” King said on Wednesday.
The second incident also involved a six-year-old boy, who was swept away from his group in the Sucker River on July 3 at approximately 3 p.m.
La Ronge emergency response teams and community members helped with the search until his body was found underwater by the Grandmother’s Bay Recovery Team.
On July 4, Maidstone RCMP responded to the disappearance of an 18-year-old man. He was tubing down the Battle River south of the community of Waseca and was swept away from his group when a thunderstorm rolled in.
His body was found downstream by the Saskatchewan RCMP underwater recovery team.
“Water levels have been high for approximately three weeks across the province so I think anybody going into the areas or going into the water should definitely be checking with people with extensive knowledge,” King advises.
“Water may look nice and calm on the surface, but unless you have a great deal of knowledge of the water there can be some very strong undercurrents moving underneath the surface of the water — even shallow water, maybe two or three feet deep.”