Off-duty Saskatoon firefighter helps rescue individual clinging to life jacket in river

A rescue effort initially led by an off-duty firefighter helped get a person safely out of the South Saskatchewan River on Thursday evening.

At 6:16 p.m., Saskatoon Fire Department received a call about a person in distress in the river near the canoe club.

The person was reportedly hanging onto a life jacket and was being carried north, according to a news release from the department.

A fire engine crew and a water rescue boat responded.

Upon arrival, the fire crews spotted someone in the water trying to help the person.

The man trying to offer aid turned out to be an off-duty firefighter who happened to be paddling on the river at the time.

The off-duty firefighter was bringing the person to the shore using his paddleboard.

A fire department swimmer entered the water from the boat and finished the rescue.

The person was out of the water by 6:26 p.m. and was left in the care of police, the department said in its release.

The fire department said while river levels are low, the water can still be unpredictable.

“Always use the river with caution and awareness and wear a personal flotation device,” the department said.

“Swimming in the river is prohibited as per the City of Saskatoon, Bylaw No. 4433.”

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