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River ice dangerous for people & pets

For immediate release: February 7, 2018 - 2:46pm

Saskatoon firefighters want to remind everyone river ice is dangerous for people and pets alike.

The Saskatoon Fire Department has had to respond to a number of emergencies which have involved dogs in distress on river ice.

“Since 2011, firefighters have responded to ten emergencies that involved dogs in the river during the winter months – that’s over one a year on average,” says Assistant Chief Wayne Rodger. “So far this year the Saskatoon Fire Department has been called out to two such emergencies.”

Rodger points out moving water in the river introduces an inherent structural weakness to the ice and is one of the main reasons firefighters always warn people to stay off river ice throughout the winter season.

“Ice will weaken when water is moving above or below the ice surface,” Rodger says.  “River currents and temperatures constantly affect the quality of the ice on the river making it unstable and dangerous.”

The Saskatoon Fire Department again reminds residents to never go on the river ice and whenever possible, to maintain contact and control of dogs in off-leash areas near the river.