River patrols continue to search for a man who went missing in the Red River on Friday afternoon near the Provencher Bridge. A chaotic rescue attempt by patrols and members of the Splash Dash water taxi service also sent another man to hospital in cardiac arrest.
Police say an off-duty officer spotted a man in the water "who appeared to be in distress" around 2 p.m. The officer flagged down a nearby water taxi, captained by Al Smith, and directed it to the area where he saw the man struggling to stay afloat.
"The officer was able to get the attention of a nearby water taxi and direct those on board to the male's location. Their attempts to assist the male were unsuccessful," Const. Eric Hofley said.
As crew members attempted to rescue the man, Smith suffered an apparent heart attack. A Splash Dash employee confirmed today that Smith underwent surgery in hospital and is "doing alright."
The man in the water’s identity remains unknown. The police dive unit scoured the Red River following the initial surface search. The river was high and flowing very rapidly.