The City of Fernie and Fernie Search and Rescue are urging Elk Valley residents to be cautious while enjoying the water this summer.
Due to the increased popularity of waterway recreation, Fernie Search and Rescue (SAR) have responded to a number of calls for water users on the Elk River getting pitched off of their flotation devises, as well as some injuries involving jumping into shallow water.
Both the city and Fernie SAR would like to remind locals that there is a large and dangerous log jam on the Elk River North of the Fernie Golf Course. The jam is located between Fernie and Hosmer, and makes the river impassible in that one section, requiring anyone recreating on the river in the area to exit and walk the section around the hazard. The City of Fernie has approached Emergency Management BC regarding options for clearing the hazard.
“There are numerous snags and strainers, and the North Fernie Bridge abutments can be very dangerous,” said Simon Piney, head of Fernie SAR.
“While we love to see people having fun on the river, it is important to remember it is a river in a natural state, full of unpredictable and changing hazards.”
Piney also mentions that while no major hazards currently exist along the stretch of river typically used to float from the North Fernie Bridge to the Fernie Stanford Resort, locals should be taking precautions nevertheless. Personal flotation devises and properly inflated tubes are recommended, as is not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Groups with young children are also urged to carefully supervise youngsters, noting the difficulty of paddling upstream in the event of an emergency.