NEWS

Man dies after Bow River rafting accident

07/03/2012 10:06 EDT | Updated 09/02/2012 05:12 EDT
A man in his 30s is dead after the raft he was in flipped on the Bow River.

The man was with three friends, going through the features of the new Harvie Passage just before 4 p.m. MT.

He was transported to Foothills Medical Centre in life-threatening condition, where he later died from his injuries.

All four of the rafters were wearing life jackets.

The Calgary Fire Department’s Jason Doyscher said the Harvie Passage is a dangerous area.

“It does take some skill to manoeuvre through this area. People need to be aware that, even though it’s warm out, they need to take those precautions and make sure that they understand the water conditions — the water is still quite murky, there is still a lot of debris in this area,” said Doyscher.

Doyscher said the high water in the area is cause for concern.

“At this time we’re asking people just to stay off the water, completely, at all, there’s no reason to be on it at all down here, unless you are a skilled individual.”

Doyscher said the area is only for experienced boaters, but with the high water, even they shouldn't be on the river.

A CBC videographer was at the river while the incident happened. The video posted above shows the people navigating through the passage before the accident.

The redesigned weir

Harvie Passage is located on the Bow River slightly downstream of the Calgary Zoo.

The passage is the redesigned Calgary weir, which officially opened this season after four years of construction.

It features two separate channels. Labelled as Class 2 and Class 3 rapids. The features are designed for trained whitewater kayakers and river rafters.

The weir, often called a “drowning machine,” was known for its heavy undertow.

This is the first death on the weir since it was redesigned.

MORE:cbcNews