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‘Do not go on the ice at all’: EFRS warning after dog dies falling into river

People are being warned to stay off the ice and to keep their pets away after rescue teams were unable to save a dog that had fallen into the North Saskatchewan River.

On Feb. 11, emergency crews were called after a dog was seen in the river near the High Level Bridge.

“Unfortunately, soon after arriving on scene, we lost the visual of the dog as it went under the ice,” said Capt. Aaron Miller, with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. “We’re saddened to report that the dog did not resurface, and we were unable to affect the rescue of the dog.

“We’re urging Edmontonians to stay away from the ice, rivers and storm ponds, making sure that there’s no possibility of falling through… do not go on the ice at all.”

Officials want to repeat the call to stay off the ice, which can be “very thin” in spots. The North Saskatchewan River, in particular, is “powerful and deceptive,” and “fast moving.”

“(In) the off leash areas, keep your pets well away from the ice,” said Miller. “If you’re walking on the trails by the river, make sure your dog’s on the leash.”

The dog that fell in the river on Sunday did not appear to have a collar on and an owner has not yet been found, added Miller.

If you see a person or an animal that has fallen through the ice, you are asked to call 911 and keep sight of the person or animal, as it can aid in the rescue. People are asked to not attempt to rescue someone who has fallen through.

“It’s in a lot of human nature that we want to help people and we want to save somebody that’s in grave danger,” said Miller. “You might feel that urge… but I think there’s statistics out there that there’s a very low probability of the person that’s trying to affect the rescue actually saving the person.”

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