Saskatoon Rowing Club not allowed in water during 'historically high' levels
SASKATOON -- The Water Security Agency advises caution on the South Saskatchewan River as water levels are “historically high.”
Ron Podbielski with the agency says the high levels of moisture in Alberta caused the high levels in Saskatchewan.
That means the South Saskatchewan River remains high although flows from Lake Diefenbaker and Gardiner Dam are expected to stabilize this week.
On Sunday, Saskatoon firefighters rescued four people from the river near the Gordie Howe Bridge and the Queen Elizabeth Power Station, none of whom were wearing personal flotation devices or lifejackets when rescued, the fire department says.
Later the same day, a man fell off his Jet Ski and was able to get onto a sandbar where he waited for help until crews arrived.
The Saskatoon Rowing Club was called in to help on the weekend when they saw a group in trouble on the water.
"There were people floating down the river on their rafts and couldn't make it into the docks so we were pulling them in. It was getting pretty dangerous," said Elana Gelineau, coach and manager with the club.
She said they are not allowed in the water since the level has increased by more than a metre.
“The current actually doubled so the docks were starting to get ripped off. One of the dock edges was flipped over by the current, that's how strong it is.”
The owner and captain of the Prairie Lily, Mike Steckhan, said the boat is made for river usage.
However, they do see careless use of the river and have a message of caution.
"Even a power boat recreational user should be leery. Even if they had so much as a problem with the engine if it stalls then they're going over the weir."