NEWS

Woman rescued from sinking car on South Saskatchewan River near Warman

01/17/2015 06:51 EST | Updated 03/19/2015 05:59 EDT
Fire crews in Warman pulled off a dramatic rescue on the South Saskatchewan River Friday evening. 

Members of the Warman Fire Rescue were called to the Clarkboro Ferry Crossing around suppertime, Deputy Chief Russ Austin told CBC news.

When crews arrived they found a woman standing on the roof of her car about three-quarters of the way across the river toward Aberdeen, Sask.. 

"She was able to get out of the car. It's our understanding is she felt herself go through the ice and the water was immediately at the level of her windows with the front of her car submerged," Austin explained.

According to Austin, she tried to call 911 from inside her car but her phone cut out, so she opened her car window and climbed onto the roof. Once she made it there, she called 911 again.

Austin said when they arrived it was apparent the car was about to sink and they had to act quickly.

"They had the victim jump over four feet of open water to where they had the rescue equipment set up on the ice and they rescued her as she jumped, and from the time her foot left her vehicle on her jump ... basically they grabbed her and looked and there was no evidence of the car anymore," Austin said, adding she was very lucky.

According to Austin, the woman was not injured in the incident and managed to stay calm throughout the rescue.

"That's as near a miss as you can possibly have ... and she was able to keep her head about her, in a life threatening situation, follow commands and essentially help us rescue her," Austin said.

The Clarkboro ferry crossing links Warman to Aberdeen. In the winter a makeshift ice road is made by local drivers and according to Austin it is probably used about 50 times a day as a shortcut between the communities.

Austin said because of the mild temperatures the ice is thinner than it usually is this time of year and advises drivers to stay away from the ice roads at all ferry crossings on the river.

Warman Fire Rescue is a volunteer fire department with a 28-man crew, 16 of whom have been trained in ice rescue. 

The city of Warman is approximately 20 kilometres north of Saskatoon. 

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