Monday , 10 May 2021
Cold River campground. Image credit: Tourism Saskatchewan.

Cold Lake woman drowns at Cold River

Lakegoers warn that high water levels are creating dangerous rapids.

A female from Cold Lake has drowned at Cold River.

Pierceland RCMP confirmed the incident happened late Sunday afternoon.

High water levels contributed to the danger on Cold River, on the east point of Cold Lake, and the set of three rapids toward Pierce Lake, commonly enjoyed by lakegoers.

“Traditionally, a lot of people go down that river, but with the high water levels, the high current, I don’t recommend travel on there,” said Mike Rosset, Pierceland RCMP.

Alesha Fredriksen was there during the seven kilometre float last weekend.

She’s had experience whitewater rafting, but if she knew what the third set of rapids looked like beforehand, she would’ve never done the float.

“I would have stayed at the campsite. I don’t care if I would have had a guide, a helmet, wet water suit and a life jacket. I probably would have probably sat that out,” she said.

She has a clear message for residents and visitors this year: avoid floating on Cold River.

“Do not float this year. Do not. The river, hundred percent, should be closed off. The rain is not stopping. Cold Lake is going to continue to heavily flow into Cold River and if they are caught on it on a day that we just had rainfall for two days, they could be going into higher class rapids on the first and second set, let alone the third set that’s coming up.”

She is looking to have signage put up to let visitors to the area know how dangerous it can be with high water.

“There’s no signage at all. So throughout the province of Saskatchewan, I’ve been doing a lot of research here, there is signage available,” said Fredriksen.

“It’s going to be a team effort to even work on getting signs out there because there’ll be different agencies that have different roles to play for safety advisories.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.