More Kananaskis Country deaths this summer than past
Mike Koppang says people are often caught off guard by extremely cold lakes, rivers
A safety specialist in Kananaskis Country says he hasn't seen this many fatalities in the area in one season for quite a while.
Five people have died so far this season, including two on Upper Kananaskis Lake and one on Lower Kananaskis Lake. They're both glacier-fed, and the extremely cold temperatures in the lakes and nearby rivers can take people by surprise.
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"The temperature makes swimming much more challenging, makes catching your breath much more challenging and you have way less time of functional movement in those lakes," said Mike Koppang, a public safety specialist with Kananaskis Country.
"Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lake, there is no cellphone coverage so you need to make sure you're not biting off more than you can [chew] because the winds can pick up there quite quickly, as well, and introduce a whole other series of problems in terms of boating."
Koppang says it's not easy to call for help in those remote locations.
He says anyone going into the water should have a personal flotation device and some kind of insulation, like a wet or dry suit.