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Reminders for river safety this summer

As summer approaches, Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services (LFES) urges everyone to stay safe while enjoying the bodies of water in and around our city. The Oldman River is a popular destination, but it is crucial to follow these safety tips before heading out:

  1. Ensure personal safety with proper equipment
    • Always wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) or life jacket.
    • Inspect PFDs and equipment at home to confirm they are in good condition. 
  2. Plan ahead and stay informed
    • Review the weather forecast and river flow conditions before you head out. 
    • Create a float plan detailing your entry and exit points, the duration of your trip and the members of your group.
    • Share your float plan with family or friends.
    • Discuss swimming abilities within your group to identify strong and weak swimmers.
    • Wear appropriate footwear in case you need to exit the river unexpectedly. 

  3. Avoid dangerous activities and areas!
    • No alcohol or drugs on the river, as they impair swimming abilities and judgment.
    • Carry a cell phone in a waterproof bag for emergencies.
    • Avoid the weir and follow warning signs to portage around it safely. 

Additionally, the LFES Water Rescue Team is aware of people jumping into the water off the low-level girders of the train bridge. This area is private property and extremely dangerous due to submerged hazards below the water surface. The dangers and debris include barbwire, concrete with exposed rebar, trees and logs, rocks and holes – all of which can entangle you. 

For Public Inquiries:
Call 311 | Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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