Human- and motor-powered crafts on the South Saskatchewan River
As we progress through the summer months, the Saskatoon Fire Department would like to remind residents and visitors of the responsibilities and expectations when operating a human- or motor-powered craft on the South Saskatchewan River.
Watercraft are permitted on the South Saskatchewan River where posted, and require proof of competency. Watercraft operators are required by law to have a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) on board for each person; this includes both human- and motor-powered crafts. Please ensure that the watercraft is in good condition, that you have made an emergency plan, left a travel plan, and consistently monitor weather conditions. Be sure to learn and obey all laws and regulations of the local jurisdiction.
It is important to remember that you may not be the only craft on the waterway, and to always be aware of your surroundings; this includes monitoring the actions of other river users. River users should maintain proper river etiquette, and be considerate of others on the waterway. You do so by:
Operating your craft at a safe speed,
Maintaining a respectful distance from other river users,
Not operating a craft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
Ensuring your craft is equipped with appropriate markers and lighting, and
Caring for the environment by properly launching, fueling, starting, and loading your craft
Obstacles and discarded debris can pose a threat to watercrafts, as well as passengers; Operators should be aware of the potential and marked hazards, and use knowledge and good judgment when approaching them.
The South Saskatchewan River can pose a significant danger when a lack of care and consideration is given to following the rules and regulations of the waterway. Remember to always be cautious whether in or around larger bodies of water, and to exercise respectful river etiquette if using the river for recreation or leisure purposes. The Transport Canada guide to safe boating on Canada’s waterways can be found here.
In an emergency, call 911 immediately.