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Woman dies after hitting steel cable while snowmobiling on river in central Alberta: RCMP

Buy Ski-doo Ice Ripper XT Online By Stephanie Swensrude  630CHED

Posted March 27, 2023 12:01 pm

 Updated March 28, 2023 12:53 pm

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018.
The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Darryl Dyck, The Canadian Press

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Police in central Alberta are investigating after a 25-year-old woman died while snowmobiling near Ponoka on Saturday afternoon. – Buy Ski-doo Ice Ripper XT Online

Rimbey RCMP said at around 4:30 p.m., officers were called to the Blindman River near Township Road 441 and Range Road 15, about 80 kilometres southwest of Edmonton. Buy Ski-doo Ice Ripper XT Online

The woman, from Bluffton, Alta., was snowmobiling on the river with her spouse and two friends when she hit a steel cable that extended across the river, police said.

“A 25-year-old woman was snowmobiling with friends and struck a long, steel cable — not barbed wire, an intertwined steel cable — that had been erected along a small — it’s called a river but more of a creek — waterway in the rural area,” said RCMP Cpl. Troy Savinkoff. Buy Ski-doo Ice Ripper XT Online

He said the cable was several feet off the ground. Buy Ski-doo Ice Ripper XT Online

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“At this point, we don’t believe this item was placed there as some sort of trap. It seems quite intentional and had been there for quite some time,” Savinkoff said.

“We are investigating whether or not it was there for more of a commercial or agricultural use.

“It doesn’t seem that it was a put up as a temporary structure or something that was intended to prevent snowmobiling or some malicious trap,” he added. “We have investigated stuff like that in the past. This doesn’t appear to be one of those situations.”

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The Ponoka County Fire Department and EMS provided medical care and the woman was airlifted via STARS to the University of Alberta Hospital where she died.

The RCMP major crimes unit and traffic analyst are investigating the incident along with Rimbey RCMP.

Police are looking to speak with anyone who might know who installed the cable across the river. Those with information can contact Rimbey RCMP or submit anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers.

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Savinkoff described the incident as tragic and horrible.

“There are always difficulties because it’s not a prepared roadway necessarily,” he said. “If you’re on a prepped trail, that’s one thing, and even on a prepped trail, I’ve had unfortunate incidents where people have hit branches sticking out across the trail and so forth.

“It is a fairly dangerous pastime and one of the big risks is not knowing what’s under the surface you’re snowmobiling over and obviously what unknown obstructions might be ahead as you’re travelling at a decent pace and just can’t see.”

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