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. mick douglas

    and the Darwin award goes to!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Greg

    I write a good comment, you don't accept it, then you simpletons force me to write something like the previous comment; please get it together CNN moderators.

    Anyways, to the family and friends of those children who died, I am truly sorry. Maybe we can all take a swim together someday; in the next life.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Richie P

      You're an idiot. The comments post automatically. They get taken down if enough other READERS determine that they are inappropriate. It takes a special kind of @hole to post something so mean spirited that everyone immediately vetos it. (Notice this post made it, and it's not exactly kind words. Just goes to show that people agree with my assessment of you.)

      August 3, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cam

    This is a very sad story. I live near the Red River and it is full of sink holes. I can't believe some of the rude comments that were made. I think the kids should not have been down there swimming in the first place. They drowned trying to save one another for the ones who didn't read the story. One boy slipped and fell in and the others were going in one by one to save each other and they drowned. It doesn't matter if you can swim, but if you are caught in a sink hole then your chances are very small on trying to get out because the water is pulling you under. I knew someone that went swimming and got stuck in a sink hole. He could swim very well and he still drowned because the water was pulling him under. Even if those kids knew how to swim they still could have lost their lives because of the holes.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
    • pollovic

      Well said!

      August 3, 2010 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Why jump in to try to save one another, why not call 911 and get trained professions to come help????

      August 3, 2010 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Sharon,

      Call 911 and wait 5 minutes while your family member is yelling for help and you just stand there??? I hope nothing happens to people close to you and you are the only one there to help.

      August 3, 2010 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Jeremy,

      Obviously them jumping into the water didn't help! Wouldn't you think it would be more smart to stay out of the water since you can't swim and call 911 and have the dispatcher tell you what to tell them to do??? Or would you rather jump in and drown too??? That would be a little ridiculous!!

      August 3, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      Your comments makes more sense than any of the other post. When one starts drowning each of the other ones tries to save them and they drown also. It is hard as hell to save one from drowning even if you are a great swimmer but don't know the proper technique for saving a person from drowning. A drowning person will grasp & hold onto any person or object with a death grip

      August 3, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      Sharon, u from Alaska, probably some relations to Sarah Palin with your stupid comment about calling 911 & waiting 5 minutes while your child, neice or nephew is strugging & drowning in the water. No human being would be thinking about 911, you want to immediately jump into the water and save them regardless of whether you can swim. THATS HUMAN NATURE WITH STRONG FAMILY BONDS & LOYALITY

      August 3, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      i would rather give my life trying to save one of them rather than sit there and watch. 911 dispatchers dont know whats really going... all you can do is act. find something to float on close by... coolers float, im sure there was one of those around if this was a popular spot. at least do something instead of stand around and wait and scream.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • RayOfLight

      @sharon – by reading some of your comments i can tell you've obviously been sheltered your entire life. so you mean to tell me that instead of TRYING to help your loved one survive, you'd what, pull out your cell phone, call 911, and then what, shout out to the drowning loved one that help is on the way shortly so don't worry?

      >>Obviously them jumping into the water didn't help! Wouldn't you think it would be more smart to stay out of the water since you can't swim and call 911 and have the dispatcher tell you what to tell them to do??? Or would you rather jump in and drown too??? That would be a little ridiculous!!<<

      i'd call 911 too, it's just after a while of watching my brother drowning, i'd have to get off the phone and try to help him, what do you think?

      August 3, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. Greg

    CNN, you have at least one intellectually disabled person on your moderator staff. This is America, you are supposed to be "religiously neutral".

    August 3, 2010 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike28112

      The reporter was quoting the Mayor of the town and explaining the counseling methods in place. And CNN is a private news organization, not a state funded one. Its not affected by the 'seperation of church and state'.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jennifer

    You know what...I am just tired of reading about how more black kids can't swim than white kids... What does that have to do with anything here? I am from Vermont and white and I never learned how to swim. We certainly did not have YMCAs out there in the country! I can name a ton of white people who don't know how to swim... This isn't a color thing...more so where you are from, or if you have access to water or not. However....what I do find disturbing is that this family frequented this beach at the water (so they did have regular access)...yet not a single one of them knew how to swim? And, apparently it was completely acceptable for these kids to be in the water, not knowing how to swim, with their parents nearby (these parents = idiots).... And then the parents just stood there and cried and wailed because they couldn't save their own kids. I hope they do feel bad, they should feel bad...and I feel bad that this happened...but I'm not so sure I feel bad for these parents. This could have been prevented. I really don't want to honor their stupidity and ignorance.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
    • MyOpinionz

      Maybe something will never happen to your children...such idiotic comments.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Jennifer, unfortunately many black folks in the South are poor. That is not racist, it is fact. The poor schools cannot afford a pool or swim lessons and it is not a priority in low-income neighborhoods. It is viciously hot here and with no a/c, tell me you wouldnt wade into some cool water. Get off your high horse.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Wow...and Vermont is a rich state? I grew up with no air conditioning with a creek in the backyard and I was still not allowed to go near that water... So...I think if it is a matter of life and death...or potentially – no parent let's their kid go in the water if they cannot swim. I don't care how hot it is – that is just ridiculous – go get a hose or something. I

      've never heard of teaching swimming in the schools...so, if that happens in some parts of the country – Vermont isn't it that is for sure....I don't think a lot of places have it but I may be misinformed. I also don't know if people are trying to turn this into a poor issue or a black issue or whatever issue.

      The real issue is that these kids and their parents were where they were not supposed to be period! If you read more in depth articles you will see that this was not a public place they should have been, and there had been ditches dug before the water line to try and keep folks at bay. This was not a public beach. And regardless....I can't believe that the parents let their kids in the water knowing that they couldn't swim. You don't know where a drop off is, you don't know where a sink hole might be....that's just stupid. It can be 200 degrees....you just don't do dumb things because it's hot. It wasn't hot enough for them not to have a cook out.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. pollovic

    This is just terrible. I will keep the families in my prayers.

    August 3, 2010 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ebolter

    sad as it is , I have to agree with most of the posters here ; if you can't swim and you know this, stay away from the water .

    August 3, 2010 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Swamprattler

    my question is why at that age they didn't know how to swim.? I've been swimming since I was 3 years old,(65 years) guess too little time to learn, what with texting and X boxes and such. My condolences to the families

    August 3, 2010 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
    • not everyone swims

      well, good for you. you must be very special, learning to swim at 3. guess that sets the standard know-it-all.

      August 3, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Spike

      Most people learn to swim at that age. He isn't a know-it-all, he is normal. No excuse for not learning to swim. It's a basic ability like learning to walk.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • MyOpinionz

      Some people posting ridiculous comments need the basic ability to think, breath, and post at the same time. Swimming is not a natural ability and MOST people that have a pool or regular access to a pool do learn how to swim. The others...wade in the shallow and never expect a steep drop-off that may have occurred gradually.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. michael

    dont they even have a book aboput this? 2 teens go to play in the red river and one of them drowned i read it in 5th grade

    August 3, 2010 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. chris

    why's everyone going off on the schools? Its not the public school systems job to make sure your kids can swim. It takes 45 seconds to learn how to tread water and another 5 minutes to learn how to swim...you might think the parents would take this time for such a simple task...especially if their children like to play in rivers.

    August 3, 2010 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Claes

    It's the liberal mainstream media's fault.

    August 3, 2010 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. leeyie

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

    Should read:

    "They were out here with some adults. But unfortunately, neither the children nor the adults could swim," he said.

    August 3, 2010 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bella

    It still continues to amaze me how everything becomes a RACE issue. Get over it! "White men cant jump"-they made that into a movie & white peopel didnt CRY about it. Black people cant swim-whats the big deal? Clearly no one means ALL white men cant jump anymore than ALL black people cant swim. ..and we wonder why race continues to be an issue. Jesus Christ people....
    NISSAN, thank you for being honest and able to look past the race card.

    August 3, 2010 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. JS

    Terrible tragedy – my heart goes out to the families.

    Why is it that when a terrible tragedy like this happens people look to their imaginary god for solace ("Please lift this family up in prayer," "God bless the families of these teens"). Does it occur to these simple-minded people to wonder where the @##% their omnipotent, ever-present, loving god was when these youngsters decided to cool off?

    August 3, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. stevan

    im glad my previous comment didnt post because it was quite a rant. feel a bit foolish now. anyways all of you who are saying anything that isnt expressing sorrow at such a terrible tragedy should all see therapists. it doesnt matter the race nor anything else. they were kids and kids ALL do irrational things. thankfully most of the people on here arent racist sociopaths. well thanks for ruining my coffee and making me lose a little more faith in mankind and question the concept of agape.

    August 3, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Chasaty

      A rational human can see that this is a tragedy but also recognize that it could have easily been prevented. Just like when a parent forgets their kid in the car and they die. Its an accident yes, but its still the parent's fault and it was still preventable and stupid.

      Just because a stupid mistake ends in tragedy doesnt make it any less stupid. It just makes it stupid and tragic. I do feel sad for the family but i also hope people who don't swim stay away from creeks, rivers, and oceans. Go to a public pool or buy one at wal-mart for $89.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
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