Bikini-clad women safe after river rafting rescue

Six of seven girls rescued Wednesday after a Tuesday afternoon river trip turned into an overnight...

Six of seven girls rescued Wednesday after a Tuesday afternoon river trip turned into an overnight event. (SUPPLIED)

Catherine Griwkowsky, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:16 PM ET

EDMONTON -- An afternoon of fun floating down the Pembina River turned into a 16-hour ordeal for seven young bikini-clad city women, eventually saved by a team of rescue crews, including Edmonton cop chopper Air-1.

"We will never get on that river again," said Dana Auld, 23, her voice still raspy from screaming for help after the Tuesday afternoon adventure went sideways.

Auld and six of her friends -- all between the ages of 20 and 24 -- went tubing around 1 p.m. on Tuesday and had planned to only be on the water for four hours. A vehicle was parked about a 10-minute walk from what was supposed to be the end point.

By 7 p.m., the 15-person raft was deflating, stranding the women on a river bank as night fell north of Drayton Valley and Evansburg, Alta.

"It was dramatic, it was really scary," Auld said.

As the sun went down, it got colder. Wearing only bathing suits, the women used a lighter to start a fire along the banks in an attempt to keep warm.

Between the seven, there was only one cellphone with 20% life left. They Googled the local RCMP detachment in Evansburg.


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