Man’s death at summer festival prompts health, safety warnings

News source from CTV News

Summer festival season is well underway, and with it comes warnings about too much time in the sun.

Manitoba Health is urging people to take care outdoors in the coming days.

The alert comes after a Winnipeg man was found dead in a creek, near Dauphin’s Countryfest grounds.

The Manitoba Branch of Lifesaving Society said with more people heading outdoors and to festivals, it’s important to keep safety in mind.

It said people shouldn’t mix alcohol with boating or swimming and that they should wear a life jacket and not swim alone.

“Even if it’s shallow water you can still get pulled under the surface and that may not be immediately obvious,” said water smart coordinator Christopher Love.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Richard Rusk says every year emergency rooms see people from the Winnipeg Folk Festival which starts Thursday.

“The classic first symptom is that headache. You feel like you’re hungover but you haven’t actually had anything to drink, so you’re starting to go down this pathway of heat exhaustion, heat stroke,” said Rusk.

The folk festival has cold showers and taps to re-fill water bottles.

It said the nearest swimming area is two kilometres away and is supervised with beach officers, and protection and wellness volunteers will be roaming the grounds.

“They’re very proactive so in the campground or on site, they be walking around reminding people to hydrate and help people distress,” said Paul Laporte with the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Rusk said when it comes to the heat, everyone reacts differently and it’s important to go indoors if possible, seek out shade and drink cold water.

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