Twenty-eight people were rescued – in what’s known to be the biggest rescue mission in Central Alberta from North Saskatchewan River.
Crews helped a family Saturday who were stranded on the river on their six rafts near Rustic River Campground, about 20 kilometres north of Rocky Mountain House by road.
Rocky Search and Rescue president Ed Van Heeran said the rescue went smoothly and no one was injured or fell in the water.
“I haven’t heard of anything bigger (rescue),” he said.
He said the large family was out for a float on the river along with children. Heeran said he believes the family is from Calgary area and launched into water from Rocky Mountain House.
The group’s rafts had become stuck in trees due to a log jam where they got tangled up. Three jet boats came to the rescue including four crew members from the search and rescue team and Rocky Mountain House RCMP around 4:15 p.m.
The rafters were unable to proceed off the river, RCMP said in a release Sunday.
Heeran said water level was high Saturday from a combination of spring runoff and rainfall.
He asks residents to be safe when on water – to always have life jackets on, a communication device that’s kept dry, and to stay off the river altogether when the water level is too high.
“Let people know when you’re going and when you plan to be back,” he said.