Man Found Dead at this Year’s Eelpout Festival
When you put 10,000 adults together on ice over a weekend full of drinking, games, and ice fish houses...things can go wrong. A young man was found dead at Eelpout Festival on Sunday.
According to Pioneer Press, the 21-year old Bemidji man was reported unresponsive on Sunday morning, on the last day of the Eelpout Festival in Walker Bay on Leech Lake. The man was transported to a Park Rapids hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Although the Ramsey County Coroner's Office hasn't ruled the cause of death, there are a number of possibilities that could have attributed to his death, that we all need to be aware of when we attend any of the many festivals that happen each year in Minnesota.
It seemed that a death was reported each year at We Fest, a country music festival near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for a number of years. Not all of these deaths were alcohol-related, but many of them are unfortunately. There was a death in the recent past at We Fest related to carbon monoxide poisoning of a person sleeping in a tent, next to an RV running a generator. The exhaust filled the tent, killing the person sleeping in the tent.
The death reported on Sunday at the International Eelpout Festival in Walker, Minnesota could have been caused by carbon monoxide, due to a heater in the fish house he was found unresponsive inside of. Again, this hasn't been ruled the cause, but could easily be a cause of death.
With 10,000 people that attend this popular festival each year, the odds of somebody getting critically hurt, or even activity that results in death can get up there. It's hosted on the ice with a focus not only on drinking and drinking games, but also tons of ice houses for fishing and sleeping in over the weekend.
It's important to remember safety at all times, above everything else. It can be an absolute blast of a good time at any of these festivals, in warm or cold Minnesota weather...and it only takes 1 careless action, or lack of careful planning, to turn the event into tragedy that nobody wants to experience.