American tourists rescued from ice floe on Bow River near Canmore

Three American tourists will have a harrowing tale to tell when they get home after they had to be rescued Wednesday from an ice floe on the Bow River. 

At around 11:40 a.m., the Canmore fire department's swift water rescue team was deployed to get the trio to safety. 

"They had crossed a path onto the floe and due to the shifting water conditions, that little ice bridge somewhat collapsed, resulting in a not a clear path back. So a bystander phoned it in and we went to help them out," said Walter Gahler, chief of Canmore Fire-Rescue.

The group had been walking near the confluence of the Bow River and Cougar Creek, southeast of Canmore's downtown, when the ice they were on detached and floated away on the Bow.

Six members of the swift water rescue team arrived at the scene where they found "three folks sort of stranded midstream on a bit of an ice floe," said Gahler.

An inflatable raft was deployed, but the crew ended up using personal flotation devices to escort them off the ice and water.

"They were a little chilly and perhaps just a little bit embarrassed and certainly glad to see the team coming," said Gahler.

Gahler would like to remind everyone in the area to practise caution while enjoying the great outdoors, especially when on or near ice and water.

"We want you to enjoy the environment. We just want you really to do it safely," said Gahler.