When you’re under a heat wave it can sometimes be tempting to dip a foot in the water or make a splash to try to cool off. While there may be nothing wrong with a swim in safe waters, Strathmore's Fire Department says you need to be aware of the risks and dangers with some bodies of water.

Strathmore Fire Department Captain Eric Alexander explained that there are people who swim in the bodies of water around town, more so the canals than then lakes for recreation.

“We want to encourage people to stay out of the canals even though it is 30 degrees out because they are owned by the Western Irrigation District and they're not meant for recreation,” he said.

“It's meant for supplying farmers with their irrigation water.”

One of the dangers of trying to use the canal is that it is a moving/flowing body of water.

“The canal is a moving body of water and it would fluctuate a little more rapidly with rains than our lake system does here in town.” He also noted that people are encouraged to use portable flotation devices, PFDs or lifejackets.

“But for the canal, we just ask people stay out of it and find other sources of recreation to cool down during these heat waves,” said Alexander.

Alexander spoke of a community tragedy near Canmore which cost the lives of three people when a boat capsized.

“There was a recent tragedy out in Canmore that unfortunately didn't end that great and we'd hate for our residents to have anything like that, so we always encourage PFD's. Even if the water is only knee deep because they're there to save lives”


So far this year the fire department has not had to respond to any water related calls, but last year they responded to approximately 10 water related emergencies.

Remember, you can still have fun while being prepared when you head out on the water this summer.

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