August 3rd, 2010
01:01 AM ET

Six teens drown in Louisiana river

Six teens drowned after they waded into unfamiliar waters and fell into a deeper part of the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana, officials said.

One additional member of the group was rescued, Shreveport Assistant Fire Chief Fred Sanders told CNN.

He said no one in the group of teens, who ranged in age from 13 to 18, could swim.

The victims were part of two families, and three of the victims were brothers, he said.

Divers on scene said the river bed drops from a shallow area to 20 feet, Sanders said.

People nearby heard the teens screaming for help, CNN affiliate KSLA reported.

Local ministers were in the area counseling grief-stricken family members Monday evening, KSLA said.

"Please lift this family up in prayer," Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover told KSLA.

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Filed under: Louisiana • U.S.
soundoff (481 Responses)
  1. Arthur

    If anyone want to help these families with a donation. Contact the "Shreveport Federal Credit Union".
    They have an account setup to help these people in their time of need, Phone 318-425-6103.

    August 4, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. talheure

    FYI, "innercity" Shreveport has TEN public, integrated pools. The price of admission? $1.

    A quick google shows that there are swim lessons available for $40 for the whole course, less than most monthy cable or phone bills and a heck of a lot more useful.

    Shreveport is MOSTLY black (82K to 103K) and the mayor is similarly black. The pools are going to have plenty of African-American kids to play with, and likely somebody you know who can swim who would share a lesson or two if you asked. There's a lifeguard handy if you need one, too.

    It really doesn't matter if great grandpappy wasn't allowed to swim at the white pool. Those conditions no longer exist.

    August 5, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Nana

    I dont think its the schools fault or the parents. I understand the children just wanted to have some fun...butt common sense will tell you not to jump in if you cant swim. The parents probably should be blamed for not teaching their children to make smart decisions, butt thats about it..!!!

    August 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Avery

    These children were the victims of the gross and criminal neglect of their parents and died senseless, tragic deaths. The parents have lost a lot, but nonetheless, are DIRECTLY responsible. They do not deserve a pittance of sympathy. As a parent, what greater responsibility is there over the safety and welfare of your children?

    Any body of water has inherent dangers and any water recreational activity is inherently dangerous. We can’t breath water. Rivers and creeks are notoriously dangerous, with shifting/hidden currents, undertoes, unstable and variable sediment bottoms, murky water, drop offs, and unmarked and unseen hazards. There is no excuse to let your child enter water without the proper safety mitigations. The parents’ and other adults’ ignorance and neglect are utterly astonishing in this case. Adherence to even the most basic rules of water safety and common sense would have easily prevented this incident.
    – Preferably utilize surveyed and marked swimming areas with lifeguard and safety/rescue equipment on-duty if possible.
    – Always have a strong swimmer (preferably CPR, lifeguard, or rescue swimmer trained) present and in DIRECT supervision of the swimmers. More than one a larger number of people / nonwimmers.
    – Buddy system.
    – Survey the swimming area for hazards.
    – Non swimmers should have certified flotation devices on at all times in or around water and should stick to known shallows with direct supervision.

    These rules for all water recreational activities (boating, fishing, wading, swimming, surfing, jet skiing, parasailing, underwater cave exploration, shark feeding, dolphin riding, etc).
    Schools and government are not responsible for teaching the general population to swim just as they are not responsible for teaching them how to ride bicycle, or operate a stove. As for the cultural/social issues, these are hardly defensible. At one point in every family history, a person who has learned to swim has had parents who did not. If you have enough money to blow on a BBQ, then you have enough to provide your children with the proper safety training/equipment and swimming lessons. These parents killed their children.

    August 5, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. celest

    Well to all you lovely life guards and navy seals . Guess what?? You cannot match murky red muddy water that feels like quick sand. That water Is difficult for the best Olympic swimmer In the world HELLO! !!! and accidents happen to children no matter what.when It's your time!!! It's your time!!. unlike the little toddler that just walked off and was found you blame them too.well you should because Im sure they killed him just like that psycho chick killed caley ..........(..It was an accident It happens and It and can happen to your kid or your families kids)..

    August 6, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jessie from Auckland, NZ

    This is a tragedy and my deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones who have lost these children.

    I am very wary of swimming in water now, and I am in my middle 50s and know how to swim. It has taken me this long. A lot of people young and old can be unaware and get caught out. Rivers can be the worst places. Just have to be so careful around water anywhere and especially if one can't swim. Don't venture out, stay close to shore.

    One also has to be careful diving into water also.

    August 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jessie from Auckland, NZ

    This is so sad and my deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones who have lost these children.

    I am very wary of swimming in water now, and I am in my middle 50s and know how to swim. It has taken me this long. We can be so unaware. Just have to be so careful around water anywhere and especially if one can't swim.

    August 6, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pam

    I am sorry to the families who lost them and the kids that will not have a chance to experience all that a long life has to offer. Commenter’s – I am offended that you would use tragic stories as a forum to sling foul accusations and name calling. Imagine how it must feel as one of the parents reading this. You are invisible here and that makes you cowards in your derogatory actions.

    If this is going to be a story that lessons and media continues about, can't we make it about something that will help children (of all races) in the future to avoid this? Can it be a campaign to alleviate fears of the water through education? Since there are many in this county who fear water, and by fearing it – increase the dangers of unnecessary drowning, perhaps this topic can be encouraged as community center educational topics. Perhaps even public pools begin a free, once per month, introduction to basic water safety. Especially in regions that have significant water access e.g.: LA, FL, MN, WA, OR, coastal areas, etc.

    I'm not rehashing the importance of swimming classes referred to earlier, but think anyone, young and old, who is near them, should take advantage of them. Parents who fear water will not send their children to swim lessons if they think water will harm their children, and by doing so, would put them in harm’s way.

    The courses I am talking might be a 'How water safety can save your life or the life of your child' or 'Overcome your fear of water and prevent accidental drowning'. Show how, by learning basic water safety, they will decrease the likelihood of accidental drowning, flood injuries, etc by _%. Why avoiding simple knowledge and techniques can cost a life. Show them that simply knowing what to do in an emergency does no harm, only good. Explain it without putting people in the water they fear. Then offer the very minimum water safety course as a follow up. They don't even have to learn to swim.

    A minimum water safety course would simply teach what to-do and what not-to-do when someone near them is in water related danger (fell in, swam to exhaustion, was drowning or being pulled by a current), how to tread water, how to float on their backs, not fight a current – but get yourself to the edge, even simply how shoes and clothing can hinder their ability to navigate water.

    Better, don't you think?

    August 7, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. NeNe

    Why are you all on here putting the blame on anyone? This is such a tragedy. If you can't say a kind word or pray for the family just keep your comments to yourself.

    August 7, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
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