Fort Smith RCMP supported K Division (Alberta) in a rescue operation for a man who had fallen into the Slave River in the area of Fort Fitzgerald, AB.
At approximately 5:44 PM on Monday, October 14th, 2019, Fort Smith RCMP were notified that a man went missing in the water near Cassette Rapids, in proximity to Fort Fitzgerald, AB.
The man was canoeing with another person on the Slave River near Fort Fitzgerald when they stopped on shore. The canoe started to slip in the water, and the man jumped into the rapids to try to get a hold of the canoe. He disappeared underwater moments later.
Fort Smith RCMP assisted K Division and deployed on site with Fort Smith Fire Division and Emergency Medical Services. Community volunteers joined the search crew.
Fort Smith RCMP reached to Parks Canada in Fort Smith for a vessel to be deployed.
While the vessel was en route, the man was located by searchers on shore near Fort Fitzgerald. He was isolated on an island off shore and could not be reached.
Fort Chipewyan RCMP and K Division Member Operational Support Section (KMOSS) reached Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Cold Lake, AB, to dispatch a helicopter.
Two local experienced kayakers attended the scene with their kayaks and a drift boat to attempt a rescue.
Around 12:00 AM, the man was successfully located by the kayakers and brought back to shore. The man was taken to Fort Smith Hospital and treated for a non-life threatening injury.
"This incident could have had disastrous, unfortunate consequences. The river in the area is strong and the water is cold at this time of the year. We are grateful for the community members who helped, and our partner agencies, K Division, Fort Smith Fire Division, Fort Smith Emergency Medical Services, Parks Canada and JRCC for their assistance" states Sgt Jesse Gilbert, NCO i/c of Fort Smith RCMP.