Body of Edmonton teen recovered from North Saskatchewan River near Smoky Lake

Click to play video: 'North Saskatchewan River safety reminder as search for teen stretches into 3rd day'
North Saskatchewan River safety reminder as search for teen stretches into 3rd day
The North Saskatchewan River valley is one of Edmonton's most prized recreational resources, however the power of the current needs to be respected, especially this time of year when mountain runoff makes it run faster. As Lisa MacGregor reports, the reminder comes on the third day of searching for a teen who was swept away. – Jun 6, 2023

One week after a 14-year-old boy was swept into the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton near Terwillegar Park, his body was recovered.

“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that the remains of the teen swept away by the North Saskatchewan River on June 4, 2023, were recovered in the Smoky Lake area,” an Edmonton police spokesperson said Monday.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the young boy during this difficult time.”

RCMP and other first responders were on scene and in the water on Sunday, June 11, near Highway 855 and Victoria Trail, just south of Smoky Lake, Alta.

“We would like to thank the Two Hills RCMP detachment, who helped recover the remains,” EPS said.

“We would also like to thank Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, City of Edmonton Park Rangers Marine Unit, RCMP Flight Operations and the Under Water Search Team for their unwavering efforts.”

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Click to play video: 'Search for missing teen continues on North Saskatchewan River'
Search for missing teen continues on North Saskatchewan River

On June 4, four teenagers were swimming in the river when one of them got caught in the current and was carried downstream at around 5 p.m., police said.

For days, Edmonton Fire Rescue ServicesPark RangersStrathcona County FireSearch and Rescue, boat and dive teams, aerial support and canine resources searched the area.

Police said the North Saskatchewan River can be dangerous. They added that the current can make it almost impossible to get out in some cases.

“This river is quite dangerous, especially if you don’t take caution. There’s a lot of obstacles in the water,” said Const. Jeff Eichmann, an officer with the Edmonton Police Marine Unit.

“There’s swift moving water that people don’t realize how dangerous it is.

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“It’s not like a lake where you can swim out and swim back in if you’re not wearing a life-preserver,” Eichmann said.

Click to play video: 'Search continues for 14-year-old boy in North Saskatchewan River'
Search continues for 14-year-old boy in North Saskatchewan River

Strider White, whose father fell through the ice and drowned April 2021 while trying to rescue a stranger’s dog, said people generally aren’t aware how dangerous the river is.

“I would like to have more public information and more awareness and attention put on how dangerous this is, especially at this time of year,” he told Global News.

White said his thoughts turned immediately to the boy’s family when he heard the news.

“I can’t imagine what it would be like for a 14-year-old boy to go in like that and lose him … having experienced that myself.

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“My heart is right there with them.”

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