Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services and Lethbridge Police Service responded to a sudden death of a 42-year-old woman on the Oldman River on Monday, June 14, 2021.
In the early evening, Fire and EMS crews responded to a 911 call reporting a person had entered the water and went under near Popson Park. Crews from two stations, along with the Zodiac rescue boat were dispatched.
Police were called just before 7 p.m. to assist Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services in finding the woman reported missing after being separated from friends she had been swimming with.
Fire Paramedics entered the river near the Paradise Canyon Golf course to recover the victim to shore. Engine and rescue staff assisted but crews were unsuccessful in resuscitation attempts.
According to witnesses the Lethbridge woman, whose identity is not being released, had floated away from the group and appeared to have difficulty with the current. Her friends tried to reach her but lost sight of her a short time later. One of them climbed the bank of the nearby coulee until he had cell phone reception and called for help.
An autopsy has been ordered by the Medical Examiner's Office.
This is a sobering reminder of the dangers of the river. Residents are reminded to always use extreme caution in and around the river. For more information on water safety in the summer visit: https://www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/Emergency-Services/Pages/Water-Safety-Summer.aspx.