The average number of drownings each year in Canada is 300 and in Saskatchewan the average is 10 to 15 people, and most of those are in lakes and rivers.
Doug Porteous with the Meewasin Valley Authority says they don’t want to be the ‘fun police’ but if you are heading to one of the rural canoe launches, whether it’s Fred Heal, Poplar Bluffs or Paradise Beach, remember that the South Saskatchewan River’s flow, powerful undercurrent, and levels change daily.
Last year, a 17 year old boy drowned at the Fred Heal Canoe Launch and a woman broke her neck at Paradise Beach.
Porteous suggests caregivers tell their children not to put their head under water because the river is a runoff basin for farmland, animal and human waste, and anything goes through the city and comes out in the storm water. And when you’re at the beach, the MVA asks that your garbage leaves with you. Also, open fires aren’t allowed and alcohol is illegal. The parking lots are available from sunrise to sunset and parking on the shoulder of the grid roads is illegal, so your vehicle may be ticketed.