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. jones

    Who doesn't know how to swim?

    August 3, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ;(

      There are a lot of people that didn't learn to swim. not just African Americans

      August 3, 2010 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Strike3d

      You would think!! Schools should fit swim lessons in. Why do they still have square dancing? But no, it's more important to teach my 4th grader how to make PowerPoint presentations.

      August 3, 2010 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Nissan

      As an African-American, I must admit that far too many of us do not know how to swim. Reason: from a very young age, many of our parents instill in us a monumental fear of water. The "fear of drowning" is almost a cultural stereotype. My mother fit right along with that stereotype. Fortunately, my dad thought otherwise and taught me how to swim at a very young age. His thought: We have an inground pool in the backyard...might be a good idea to learn to swim. You think? When I went in the Navy many years later, I was amazed at the number of African-Americans who did not know how to swim.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      I am an African-American and am PADI open water dive certified . I successfully completed Coast Guard Prior Service Boot camp in 1985. I taught a number of people in my recruit Company to swim to help them pass the required swim test. Only one person out of seven non- swimmers was African-American. All of them were prior Army service. The African-American recruit passed the swim test. Three of the others did not and they were of other ethnic background. That ridiculous statement about African-Americans is hereby debunked through logic and statistics.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Nissan

      Eric – the statement is not ridiculous. Many African-Americans do not know to swim...period. No one is saying we CAN'T learn to swim, it's that too many of us DON'T learn to swim. There was an African-American on the U.S. Olympic swim team, there are black lifeguards, and I know African-American Navy SEALS from my Navy days, but that does NOT change the fact that a disproportionate number of African-Americans that do not know how to swim.

      August 3, 2010 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Gi

      There are lots of children from the inner city and poor communities who don't know how to swim. Maybe you should volunteer and teach a kid how to swim.

      August 3, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      I would like to think if the parents and kids could not swim......THEY KEEP THEIR KIDS AWAY FROM WATER! This is just common sense. This whole thing could have been avoided if the kids were being supervised.

      Last I knew....it doesn't cost a dime to go to the local beach or lake where they have lifeguards to teach a child to swim. This isn't about race, it's about parenting and supervision. It cost me 12 dollars a week to teach my 2 kids to swim. It took a total of a week at the local gym. I'll bet those parent could have given up a pack of smokes or a case of beer to afford this.

      No, it's much easier to blame the local authorities for not posting a "do not swim" sign. It doesn't surprise me that the state of Loiusianna was just voted as the laziest state in the nation by the Gallop poll. Being too lazy to teach your kids how to swim is a disgrace to the child.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      GI...It's not mine or anybodys elses "job" to teach other kids how to swim..... ITS THE PARENTS JOB!!!

      What a copout! I taught my kids how to swim...I did my job as a parent! Now try and do yours!

      August 3, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Eric a study from 2008 ( http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24411271/ ) confirms what nissan said, To that end, I think it should be a moral requirement for schools to ensure children can swim and save themselves. How sad that these young people died.

      " a recent study commissioned by USA Swimming and conducted by the University of Memphis exposes some alarming statistics. The Constraints Impacting Minority Swimming Participation, Phase II study found that nearly 70% of African American children have low or no swim ability, compared to 40% of Caucasians, putting them at risk for drowning. According to the study, parental fear is a major contributor impacting a child’s swimming ability. ."

      August 3, 2010 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      sorry quote was from a 2010 study (http://www.blackpower.com/lifestyle/70-of-african-american-children-cant-swim-putting-them-at-risk-of-drowning/) 2008, study said same thing.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Shrike

      Strike3d, no it's more important to teach a 6 year old how to use a condom. So sad....

      August 3, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Carl...I served 21 years in the Army and I can tell you that blacks are just as good as white swimmers if taught.

      Cmon dude, screw the study. Human bodies are all made the same and every single human on the planet can swim if physically able to. They just need to be taught. When I went through survival school, a black guy was my instructor. To say that race has anything to do with swimming is wrong.

      Swimming is about confidence. If youve never been in the water, you are not gonna have confidence..and will start to panic once in deep water. The only thing you have to do to teach a kid to swim is get them in deep water to get over the fear. Its pretty much human nature to go into a dog paddle mode....but not if you are in a panic.

      Parens need to do this at a young age...2 or 3 years old. Stop with the copouts already.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      I am 43 years old and don't (notice I didn't say "can't") swim. I have tried swimming lessons...twice. Can't even put my face in the water.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Wendy...you have a fear of water. I was the same way at the age of ten. My next door neighbor threw me in the deep end of the pool cause I splasher her. My human instincts just kicked it and I went into a dog paddle mode and never wanted to stop swimming. It was just a matter of getting over the initial fear.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • venus

      Srike 3d
      It isnt the school's job to teach your child to swim it is your job. it is however the school's job to teach your child how to use computers. and it doesnt take alot of effort to use power point so i doubt they spent an overly normal amount of time to teach your child how to use that.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Aldin

      Not everyone who has been taught to swim can swim. I am not a great swimmer. I had many summers of lessons in scouts and the Y as a youth. I just don't float well. Even my instructors couldn't figure it out. If I remain perfectly calm/still, my "natural" buoyancy is roughly 6 inches below the surface.

      Suffice it to say I don't wander out into water I'm unfamiliar with or is over my head.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • a teacher

      While this is clearly a tragedy, please quit trying to blame the education system. As a teacher I am to not only teach the subject area in which I am trained, but also moral values, community service, financial values, the importance of saving for retirment, the political system and how it works, etc. and now – some of you believe – I need to teach children how to swim. At what point are parents going to step in and be parents! It is amazing to me how many times I hear or read a comment such as, "well, they should teach this in school." Get real! When should I fit this in to my day – after I finish grading the last paper at midnight!

      August 3, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Haley

      chris, I am from the area and I can tell you that there are ABSOLUTELY NO AREAS LIFEGUARDED that are free. None. And if there are, I'm sure someone will let me know. But I lived there for a long time and taught swim lessons and was a lifeguard, so I think I would know about such an area. AND none of the public schools (or private for that matter) have swimming pools, so the only opportunity for children who belong to a family of non-swimmers to learn is to pay someone else to do it. If you are barely putting food on the table each week, are you really going to be able to spare the decent chunk of change it costs to put your child in swim lessons even for one session when it generally takes at least three sessions for a child to do any sort of swimming on their own?

      August 3, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      a teacher, er get a life !! Heard of physical education, it would seem to me that swimming is a fundamental physical activity that children should be taught.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Chris, not saying that black people can't swim, like white men can't jump 😉

      Just that if parents cant swim, its inevitable that the children probably wont be able too.

      I'm from the uk and we went swimming weekly in 1-7 grade, you can bet that this removes the disparity of the racial bias in childrens abilities to swim, which is a problem attributable to the historical racial segrigations of swimming pools in the USA. There is a moral obligation of the USA to ensure that this is corrected, in my opinion.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • jameriqueen

      Strike3d–schools don't have pools so teaching swimming is not an option. Can you imagine the outcry if schools wanted to add the cost of a pool, and the additional insurance to the budget?

      August 3, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      "That ridiculous statement about African-Americans is hereby debunked through logic and statistics."

      Hi Eric...I'd like to take it upon myself here to welcome you to the internet. Since you're new here you should do us two favors.

      First, we'd like you to go look up the definition of "logic" because it's nowhere in your comment.

      Second you should look up the definition of "statistics" too, as your solitary experience does not make for "statistics."

      August 3, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      "Last I knew....it doesn't cost a dime to go to the local beach or lake where they have lifeguards to teach a child to swim."

      lol...yeah cause that's what lifeguards are there for...to teach your kids to swim....not be observant and make sure no one is drowning.

      When I was a lifeguard, if someone fat lazy mom brought her child up to me and asked me to teach them to swim I would have laughed in her face and told her to enroll her kid in a class like EVERYONE ELSE.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      "Carl...I served 21 years in the Army and I can tell you that blacks are just as good as white swimmers if taught."

      Put the race card down buddy. Your straw man is an utter failure. He never said "blacks aren't good swimmers" he said that "most blacks can't swim." There was never ANY comment on whether or not they were able, just that the vast majority CANNOT swim....and that is NO ONES fault but the parents in the case of kids.

      You know if you'd LIKE to play race cards I could post a bunch of more than legitimate statistics about how responsible black parents are... especially fathers....

      August 3, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Billy I'm not playing the race card !!

      Im observing the results of it in the USA ...

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/00/Lynchings-graph.png

      Yes, I come from a country where people from the Caribbean / Africa are respected, not murdered !!

      In anycase, the race card was played by Nissan, in anycase it doesnt matter what the race is, I just think kids should be taught how to swim BY THE STATE IN STATE SCHOOLS !!

      IT is ridiculous that children from afluent backgrounds can have the benefit of paid for lessons when children from less affluent backgrounds cant afford to learn to save their lives from something as trivial as getting out of your depth in a river. Its a tradgedy !!

      August 3, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • jacki

      Some European countries have it mandatory to graduate school that you must know how to swim. If my child needs to have a foreign language to graduate why can't we have swimming lessons on the list. Its such a tragedy reading this today simple beginner skills would have saved these children.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • jj

      Thank you, Nissan. I always assumed it was a cultural fear, more than just lack of access. A friend said in the Navy, you had to wear tennis shoes until you learned how to swim. He said you could pretty much tell the race of a person by their footwear, while onboard. (this was in the late 70's. Not sure how different it is today)
      And this was just funny – I remember seeing an aerial shot of spring break partiers. Cars on the beach, kids on the beach – in the water. A few days later, they showed a black spring break crowd. Everything looked the same – except no one was within 50' of the water! t was like someone roped off the beach. As a black friend said – hey, no one's going to get their $300 'do wet! Hard to argue with that.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Haley

      Carl, I completely agree that swimming should be part of the school system. In fact, here in Indiana, I was amazed to learn it is (being from Shreveport, LA where no school allots funds to swimming).

      All these arguments that if children don't know how to swim it is because their parents are too lazy to teach them reminds of all those arguments that if you don't have health insurance you must be too lazy to work (and trust me, I work 53 hours a week but my job doesn't provide health care or health insurance–am I lazy?).

      August 3, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Butch71

      Did Jones say anything about African-Americans? Stop throwing in the race card before it is needed. It dilutes its impact.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • yup

      i agree with jones. im very surprised that none of them out of six could not swim. sad.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • ballin status

      as a parent, it is your responsibility to teach your children how to swim, if you don't know how, youtube how to swim and watch the videos. it really isn't that hard.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • some guy

      I must say I'm surprised. We all HEAR cultural stereotypes all the time, but I really didn't realize this fear of water thing among African Americans was so widespread. A friend of mine is one of the biggest, strongest, most athletic men I've ever known, and an African American. We (his white, Asian, etc. friends) can't get him in water over 5 feet deep for anything. I soon learned this extended to his family and most of our other African American friends. They wouldn't even go out on a boat with us! We are from a rural area in the south (yes, whites and African Americans really can be friends in the south, in spite of what they show in the media), so I sort of attributed it to the old-fashioned traditions/fears/beliefs that hold fast in those areas. I know in some ways this isn't much of a problem, but it sounds like there's a need for a water/swimming education program within the African American community.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bj

      Good Grief !! People who know how to swim drown!! We here in Cleveland have had some drownings this summer so far and the people knew how to swim ! people are soooo mean.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      Hey I,m 66 years old and can't swim I've been in water all my life. water still makes am afraid when it hits my neck I panic , But I have taught almost all my grand-kids how to swim. But there are some of us that never can learn FEAR is the word. Lets be thankful our children and grandchildren are still alive, it was an accident and try not to blame anyone. Please think of how we would feel if our child was to drown, after all the one guy said he knew a sheriff that could swim and drowned that way . Lets pray now for the families involved.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily Catherine

      I don't know how to swim. I'm 34 and was lucky to grow up in the only small town around that had a pool. However, I was a really tall kid and only the diving area was over 5' deep, so I could get by. I can tread water for a few precious seconds if needed, but it is exhausting.
      None of the towns around us had pools, nobody had their own pool, there aren't too many beaches in Kansas, and you couldn't get to a lake unless you had a car. I didn't know any real swimmers that would take the time to teach me anything.
      We were really poor, but an awful lot of black kids grow up a lot poorer and wouldn't have an encouraging opportunity to swim. Helping to equalize public education for poor areas would help. The rich schools here have olympic pools; the poor ones have no possible way to teach kids to swim.

      August 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • larry

      what i see, some very brave young men, whom, in a situation, they, did what LORDS SAID TO TO GIVE YOUR LIFE, FOR, OTHERS, , COULD YOU HAVE MADE THAT CHOICES KNOWING THAT, YOU COULDN'T SWIM, THEY HAD SO MUCH LOVE FOR THE OTHERS, THAT THEY TOOK THE CHANCE ANYWAY....TO TRY TO SAVE A FRIEND OR FAMILY....THIS COURAGEOUS TO ME ... I AM PRAYING THE FAMILY AND THE FRIENDS LOST, AND KNOW IN MY HEART THAT, THEY ARE EMBRACING THE FATHER AND THE SON....FOR THE SACRIFICE , THEY MADE, TO GOD BE THEY GLORY, IF WE ALL HAD THAT KIND OF LOVE THIS WORLD WOULD BE ALOT BETTER PLACE...THEY ARE HEROES, FOR EVEN TRYING KNOWING THE FACT THAT, 'THEY DIDN'TKNOW HOW TO SWIMM, BUT LOVE, PUSH THEM ON...

      August 4, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ellie

    The Red River can be very dangerous. When I was in Shreveport last October a man drowned near the hotel where I was staying.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • jj

      Many suggest mandatory swimming lessons. (like schools have money for basic education these days).
      Maybe mandatory drown-proofing training is a start. It's so simple (if you don't panic – hard to do in some situations, even if you know how to swim).

      And no matter what our comments and solutions – this was an accident, compounded into a tragedy. How many people have died on our roads while you read this comment? They all likely knew how to drive.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • DJ

      Here I am again the 66 year old I am not African American I am white, But my grand-daughter is African American and she can swim so don't be so quick to judge everyone who is not of white origin.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PARROT

    LOUSIANA IS A DANGEROUS STATE......HURRICANES, OIL SPILLS, YOU NAME IT..!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • tma1953

      Ahhh, caps lock parrot. STFU.

      August 3, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Owlie

      And in this case you're saying (caps for authenticity) AND IT HAS A RIVER, TOO! OH THE HUMANITY!

      August 3, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Oh great Parrotboy showed up. I am so tempted to hit the report abuse button for abusing his poor brain. (if he has one_\)

      August 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joel

    God Bless them. May they Rest in Peace. I don't know why people are posting mean comments. The boys were just trying to cool off and they went a little further and got caught in deep water. I blame the schools, after all, you are living in
    the beautiful South with warm weather, so the schools should teach swimming as part of their gym class. Not waist money on things like football.
    Rest in Peace and may God hold your family in his hands.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Patricia Redstone

      Well, said Joel. Schools fund football and other useless sports while they should be teaching basic survival skills including swimming, self-defense, first aid and life-saving.
      No one wants to be those parents tonight ... Bless their hearts.

      August 3, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Virginia

      Really? It's the school's fault for not teaching them to swim? How bout it's an unfortunate accident? It's a shame their parents, youth counselors, boys & girls club, boy scouts, girl scouts, swim clubs, country clubs, local gyms, etc didn't teach them to swim. Why on earth would you think every school can afford a pool?

      August 3, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Schools in the south do not pay for football, it pays for itself. 2,000 – 5,000 fans paying $5 – $7 each for every Friday night's games plus food and drinks is how this happens. Do you know how much it would cost to build a swimming pool at each school? Do you know how much it costs to maintain a pool? How about the land needed to accommodate the pool? I sure hope your wife handles the finances in your home.

      August 3, 2010 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
    • penny

      I do think this state should have a "swim" campaign, to encourage children to learn to swim. You are right, it is shameful, in a state with so much water, for anyone here to not swim.
      I don't think football is the problem, though. I think they have plenty of money; they just lie, and say they don't, then pad their pockets with it.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Football, at almost every school that is played, generates revenue that is put towards things like swimming pools. So, before you call the efforts of young men who choose to give up the last third of their summer to work extremely hard in the heat of August a "waist", perhaps you should find a different target for your obviously misplaced blame.

      August 3, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sybaris

      Funny, you want their god to give them comfort but it was their gods plan to drown them.

      Wake up!

      August 3, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Kristy

      Thank you for actually saying something nice. I can not believe some of the comments I have seen about this tragic event. It is not the parents fault. That was the most horrible thing to be said. I can only imagine the horror those parents are feeling right now, especially the ones who lost three of their children.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      Joel,

      Someone with a brain doesn't wade into water they are unfamiliar with if they do not know how to swim. It just doesn't make sense. 6 deaths at once? Darwinism at its finest. And it is not the school's responsibility to teach students to swim. It never has and it never will be. Maybe they should teach you to spell, instead of "waisting" time teaching kids to swim.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Richie P

      Trying to teach swimming to all kids would be a bigger logistical problem than you think. For example, they would need lots of lifeguards and swimming instructors. These jobs are currently performed mostly by high school and college students on summer break. Where would they get them during the school year?
      Also, swimming lessons as we currently know them are mostly filled with kids who are eager to be there, sent by parents who elected to send them. Scared, unwilling children are somewhat of a rarity. This would no longer be the case if they sent a whole class of second-graders from an urban school, many of whom have never been in a real pool before. I wouldn't want to be in charge of handling that fiasco.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Joelisconfused

      Good point kevin about the football funding....but at my h.s we had between 3000-14000 people who paid to get a seat....and the money from that supported every other sport or club that our school had... the school did not fund this at all!

      August 10, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. wayne Canada

    You people are sick.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jcthinker

    God please help those families and friends cope. I've lost loved ones, but one at a time over a (thankfully) long periods of time. I have no way to know and really don't ever want to know what losing several family members at once is like. They are in my prayers. It's too late for debating the physics and dynamics of rivers and the way people make questionable decisions. It's time to hug our children a little harder and be glad for the friends we have.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry6206

      It is time to pray for these families and lost children. These children had more character and bravery and love than most adults I know. They had no way of knowing that simply wading and enjoying the water where they were safe would drop into an abyss. The fact that the adults were with them and unable to help is beyond heartbreaking - it is a cruel reality that should not happen to anyone. Too many drownings this summer.

      August 3, 2010 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jim

    Got to love the Sherlock Holmes types here that comment about someone getting into the water if they can't swim. Ever heard of wading? Granted in a place like the Red River or any other river its not the best thing to do especially if you can't swim which most people can't swim in rivers anyway with any real consistency. But have to love people that ask questions like that. The article mentioned that the river bed goes from shallow to 20 feet which is easily enough to drown. I guess education in this country is so bad now that people can't read simple news articles

    August 3, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. DACOOLE

    I lived most of my life near the river in the South. The riverbed is unpredictable w/regard to depths; changes are not gradual. Most African-Americans in the area couldn't swim, and they were the usual victims, often as a result of a slip while fishing or shrimping. Why? Don't know, that's just the way it was.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. joseph

    I live in Shreveport. The river is a very dangerous place, even with the dams that have been built, however the PARENTS are the ones to blame. Why in the H3ll would they take **6** kids to the river that didnt know how to swim? They both need to be arrested for child endangerment. It is THEIR fault and they need to live with that for the rest of their lives. 2 children is a handfull, but 6... SERIOUSLY, what were they thinking?!?!?!?!?!

    August 3, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • ;(

      Are you illiterate....".iDivers on scene said the river bed drops from a shallow area to 20 feet, Sanders said." Red the article. They probably didn't realize that ...

      August 3, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
    • chuck

      A tragic event indeed. However, to blame the parents, is ridiculous. Easy for u to judge, but then again, you are not in church right now so its ok.

      God bless the families of these teens, they paid a helluva price. God bless the teens, they paid the ultimate sacrifice.

      Hopefully, they didn't die in vain, and there are no moredrownings in that area... after all, if parents take their kids there and they drown, THEN I could see a form of culpability.

      If I've learned anything from people in Louisiana, its the level of ignorance and disrespect that I see in comments about the death of teens.

      For u to all that are posting comments about their intelligence levels rather than offering condolences to the families, I will pray that nothing likes this happens on your families.

      Boise, Idaho

      August 3, 2010 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
    • RedCat

      God forbid you ever make a mistake that results in someone else's pain. It's a horrible feeling, one I'd certainly never wish on anyone. Although if you're wishing that type of guilt on someone who's lost THREE CHILDREN in ONE DAY, I'd bet money that you have made PLENTY of mistakes that have resulted in someone else's pain, you're just the type of person that fails to realize it.

      August 3, 2010 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
    • katgirl

      youre absolutely right. dcfs needs to be called on these parents.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      It never says anywhere in the article that the parents took them to the river. If you owned a globe or a US map or knew how to access Google maps, you might have noticed that Louisiana is probably as much water as t is land. The kids could easily have just been walking around near their neighborhood or down the road nearby and decided to go in. Shame on you for blaming parents who just lost their children's lives

      August 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lisa, Jacksonville FL

    This is just a heartbreaking story! Swimming should be considered an essential life skill. A local Shreveport website stated the parents were there and they couldn't swim either. They must have felt so helpless. I can't even begin to imagine their pain. Also, the website also stated the children played in that area before and were familiar with the water (it was shallow enough to not need to swim) and the bottom gave way to a sinkhole. The family is in my prayers

    August 3, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • traggic

      since when is swimming a life essential? When your "wading in the water"? Do you really need swimming lessons to live? Kind of goes along with if you cant swim(or just dont like water) then stay out of a RIVER!! RIP and may god be with the families.

      August 3, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • RayOfLight

      @traggic – swimming should be an essential skill, please read the article of discussion here and then sit down and think to yourself about why swimming should be a necessary life skill.

      if you're going to be out in water, you need to know how to swim. otherwise...who knows...

      August 3, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Owlie

      This is why I thank the good people and leaders of Jacksonville, Florida... they've made sure to pollute our river so completely that even those of us who are avid swimmers don't want to go in there, let alone someone who may be at risk of being fully submerged in our coffee-and-Papermill Runoff! (Also: Death of young people is always bad news. Sorry to hear this has happened.)

      August 3, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      This was a tragedy for sure my heart does out to the parents and family. Though many parents including myself rank teaching their children to swim up there with reading and writing with essential skills are our responsibility to teach our children.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  11. Darren Klein

    Leroy, you are a stupid redneck. 6 young people died horribly, maby there is an undertow. I know the Red River has one. It runs all the way to my city in Winnipeg. Dont be calling these people down when you are so horrible yourself. Discusting. God Bless The families of these kids.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Bunk

      O sinners, let's go down
      Let's go down, come on down
      O sinners, let's go down
      Down in the river to pray
      ...on second thought, maybe not such a good idea.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Illuminarch

      You're calling Leroy stupid when you think that the Red River in Louisiana is the same Red River that runs into Winnipeg? Get a clue.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. read carefully

    the article said that it go from shallow to a 20ft drop so i take it they were wading out and it drop off.

    August 3, 2010 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. RedCat

    But they DIDN'T jump into water that deep. It was shallow when they walked out there, and then it suddenly dropped off, where they clearly couldn't see it. Obviously, they all walked out there at the same time. There are plenty of people in the world who don't know how to swim, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Further, it's not mentioned in this article (why would it be?), but the families were black. The reason they couldn't swim has deep cultural roots and nothing to do with stupidity. Louisiana has a dense black population. They should be sensitive to the fact that a large percentage of that population cannot swim, and if this sharp change in depth was known, this was a tragic accident that could have been avoided with a warning sign.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I agree with a lot of what you are saying but you can't tell the depth of a river because rivers like that have murky water. Secondly, are you saying that in every river where there is a steep drop off, there needs to be warning signs there? Not likely, people just need to bring their common sense along with them whenever they go out.

      August 3, 2010 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      Thank you, the article did NOT mention the race, and it doesn't matter. It was tragic, and tragic things happen. It isn't God's fault, the school's fault or the government's fault. Pray for the families and leave the snide comments off!

      August 3, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • CanadaDry

      http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/08/six-teens-drown-in-red-river/1

      August 3, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kent

    Some of you knuckledraggers on here need to be culled. How many of you elitists were there when this happened? How many of you have been in the Red River? Here are a few ideas..... 1.) If the gene pool was being thinned, many of you would not make it. You can say whatever you want on the internet because it makes you feel important. 2.) Get out more. Your bubble/shelter will likely be burst in a short period of time. 3.) Become decent human beings. A family just lost 3 children and others lost 3 more. This is a sad story that puts light on the fact that people should always be cautious of what their children (no matter the age) are doing.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • chuck

      Spot on.

      Anything hits the fan, and we will be the elitists. Lol

      August 3, 2010 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
    • cincydiane

      Amen to everything you said.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. scott

    I think it's really mean, selfish,and heartless for someone to speak negative about six kids losing their life. I live in Shreveport, a lot of our city pools were not open this summer because of funding. The news reported the kids were on the sand and it collapsed into a sink hole. They were not selfish and evil like the comments posted, they actually tried to help one another. We never know what might happen in our lives and how things can take a turn. My heart and prayers go out to the families, Shreveport/Bossier Police and Sheriff, Fire and Rescue workers and the city leaders and pastors who went out and helped and prayed with the families.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Carla

      I also live in Shreveport. The river is very deceptive when the water levels are low. It was 104 degrees yesterday so it made total sense to want to wade in the shallows to cool off. As far as blaming the parents, the youngest may have been 13 or 14 but the others were 17-18. Still young, but of legal age. I've spent many hot summer days wading around the sand bars when I was a child. I now have a teen age daughter and watching this story on the news last night made me cry. To the loved ones of those kids, may God grant you peace.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • PrayerWarrior

      Just the thought of the children reaching thier hand out to hep the other is so heart wrenching and brings tears to my eyes.What happened is already happened people should do the only thing thats left to do and that is to pray.Pray for the families involved.Imagine how awful they must feel and how many wat ifs are going thru thier head.I mean they had to watch thier loved ones drown to death.Lord take the burden off thier heart.Also pray for all the law enforcement and anyone else who was involved in this tragedy.

      August 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
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