Correction: Leduc RCMP stated Friday July 16, 2021, that they were previously incorrect in their release about the age family member being rescued. The child being rescued was a nine-year-old and not a three-year-old as previously stated.
UPDATE — With the assistance of the RCMP underwater recovery team, the body of the 49-year-old male was located.
Original Story — Shortly after 7:20 p.m., on Wednesday July 14, 2021, Leduc RCMP responded to a report of a drowning at Wizard Lake.
After rescuing a nine-year-old family member from the lake, a 49-year-old male was lost and feared drowned, stated RCMP Thursday morning.
Fire crews from Leduc and Mulhurst Bay along with an ambulance and a crew from the Central Alberta Rescue Diving Society (CARDS) were present on scene. CARDS Divers could be seen going into the lake to look for the missing man.
Fish and Wildlife conservation officer, Leduc County fire and rescue and police were all involved in the search. The man was not found Wednesday night and according RCMP, efforts to recover him will continue Thursday.
“So far in 2021, Alberta RCMP have responded to 14 drownings,” Staff Sgt. Brent Meyer of central Alberta district RCMP and marine instructor for the RCMP.
“Drownings are usually preventable. A few easy precautions can help you enjoy Alberta’s waterways safely.”
RCMP are urging Albertan’s to take care when enjoying water activities this summer, especially as recent hot weather has resulted in many flocking to lakes and rivers to enjoy recreational water activities.
The possible drowning at Wizard Lake is the second drowning to take place near the County of Wetaskiwin. Earlier this month, a 13-year-old girl from Wetaskiwin drowned in a local lake.
Some water safety tips recommended by the Canadian Red Cross include:
• Have a plan before you head out on the water and be prepared for any possible weather changes or emergencies.
• Open water is very different than swimming in a pool – distance can be deceiving, and you often must contend with cold water, waves, currents, drop offs, sandbars, water visibility, undertows, and underwater obstacles, as well as watercrafts. Know the swimming area and be aware of sudden drop offs to deep water.
• Whenever possible, swim with a buddy: When going out on the water make sure you are with another responsible swimmer. Children should be with an adult. Water toys of any size are not a substitute for adult supervision.
• Non-swimmers should wear a lifejacket at all times. When it comes to lifejackets, keeping one close by isn’t close enough. Choose to wear your lifejacket and make every water activity a safe one.
• Don’t drink and play: There is no safe way to mix alcohol or drugs with water activities.