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Calgary fire department pulls two bodies from the Bow River

The Calgary Fire Department’s aquatic rescue team pulled two bodies from the Bow River Sunday, prompting warnings with the warm weather.

Around noon Sunday, a 911 call came in about a body in the Bow River near Harvie Passage, The aquatic team was sent in and confirmed a body in the water near an ice shelf.

Calgary police and the CFD were on scene for the body recovery. Police are investigating the circumstances around the body’s appearance on the water.

Around 2:10 p.m. Sunday, Calgary firefighters responded to a second call for a body in the water. This one was just south of Harvie Passage near the Cushing Bridge.  The aquatic team was once again brought in and the body was recovered.  Calgary police are also investigating that incident.

The two incidents prompted a reminder from Calgary fire officials that as the ice along the Bow and Elbow Rivers is melting, it can be dangerous. Water levels are rising and the banks are unsafe.

They are asking Calgarians to stay away from ice on the waterways unless it’s a city or community-designated rink. They said at this time of year it’s difficult to assess the thickness of the ice and its ability to hold weight.

What to do if you fall through ice into water (Courtesy Calgary Fire Department)

  • Stay calm and try to keep your head is out of the water and control your breathing.
  • Call for help and keep your hands on the ice shelf.
  • Try to pull yourself up on the ice on your stomach and roll towards the shore, where the ice may be thicker.
  • If you can’t get out of the water in less than 10 minutes, stop kicking and trying to pull yourself out, and anchor yourself to the ice shelf. Continue to call for help.

What to do if you witness a person falling through the ice

  • Stay back and call for help; call 9-1-1.
  • If the person does get out the water, on to the ice or shore, reach or throw an aid to the person such as a branch, or rope.

Fire officials said if you do see someone fall through the ice do not attempt to rescue them yourself.