Calgary agencies carry out annual search of Bow River for dead bodies

Sep 20 2018, 8:38 pm

The Bow River runs low and clear around this time of the year, which is why it’s also when Calgary’s firefighters, police, and Search and Rescue teams work together to search for missing people.

For the fourth year in a row, a full search of the Bow will be conducted by the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and the Calgary Fire Department, along with the Calgary Search and Rescue Association (CALSARA) according to a release from the Calgary Police Service.

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The teams will search from the skies by helicopter as well as on the ground and in the water. The river will be searched within the Calgary’s city limits, starting from Bearspaw Dam in the city’s northwest and moving south from there.

According to the release, police receive around 3,500 missing person reports annually, with a small number ending up in Calgary’s waterways and being unable to get out.

“Alberta RCMP are proud to have been a part of this initiative since its inception,” said Staff Sergeant Jason Zazulak of the Alberta RCMP Missing Persons/Unidentified Remains Unit, in the release.

“The partnership we have developed with the Calgary Police Service through this, and other joint initiatives, help us achieve our goal of solving these missing person investigations, and providing families and loved ones of missing people some of the answers they seek.”

This is the second year that the CALSARA will be assisting in the search, with the trained group of volunteers joining in on the ground and water portion of the search.

“Should any bodies be retrieved, CPS would work with the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the identity of the individual and ensure no criminal offence has been committed,” the release read.