City's water safety team to patrol on weekend

In spite of repeated warnings, bylaw officials say they are still seeing too many Calgary rafters floating down the river without life jackets.

Over the past two weekends, bylaw and police officers have issued 12 tickets for not wearing a life jacket and 17 tickets for alcohol related offences.

"This is a recipe for disaster," says Bill Bruce, Director of Animal and Bylaw Services.

"The water doesn't have to be high and flowing fast for people to get into trouble if they're intoxicated or not wearing a life jacket."

Officers have issued 200 warnings in the past two weekends to rafters who had life jackets but weren't wearing them on the Elbow River.

Offenders can face a range of penalties:

Failing to wear a PFD/life jacket, mandatory court appearance.

Consuming liquor in public, penalty $115.

Littering on/into/under water, penalty $115.

Littering in a park, penalty $500.

Littering from a vehicle penalty $750.

Littering burning waste, penalty $1000.

Urinating or defecating in public, penalty $300.

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