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 Rab

    How can someone over the age of 5 not know how to swim?

    August 3, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
    • MyOpinionz

      You must be very young not to really know the answer to your own question...

      August 3, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. gumbie

    yes lets turn everything into a racist discussion. cant wait til jesus comes back!

    August 3, 2010 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      I think Jesus might hold up his hands and quietly back away from the planet...

      August 3, 2010 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      Well, when Jesus do return he better have 40 cal GLOCK, and a ten million man army because the racist rednecks would try to LYNCH HIM when they see that he did not look anything like Michael's protrait of his uncle or nephew with blond hair & blue eyes. But instead he looked just like any BLACK MAN OR WOMAN IN AFRICA WITH NAPPY HAIR, I MEAN SHEEP'S WOOL

      August 3, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Shrike

      What does an illegal migrant worker have to do with it?

      August 3, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cosmo48

    Penny had it exactly right. From experience on the Mississippi river, at a sandbar picnic, I was with a group of 12 and 13 year old's, with adult supervision, who waded far from shore. The water was only to our ankles or mid leg. The adults were shoulting for us to "come bacK" but the water was NOT DEEP. Until, an undertow current wiped the floor out from under us and all the girls dropped into bottomless water. Thank God we could swim, BUT the current was against us and if the adults hadn't gotten the boat into the water and plucked us out one by one I am not sure any of us would have actually made it back to shore. How close I came to death by drowning that day still haunts me and I watch my children around water like a hawk! These kids in LA were not stupid; they were kids having fun on a hot summer day unaware of the danger. Just like me and my friends 35 years ago on the Mississisppi. We don't know if the adults were shouting for those kids to come closer to shore. All the mean comments just make me sick. It is an accident and a tragedy. God keep those children in the palm of his hand.

    August 3, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      No excuse for their parents not teaching them to swim, end of story.

      If I had an 18 year old that drowned and I never taught him/her to swim I would know who was at fault. 18 years and you can't teach your kid to swim?

      August 3, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Danno

    I love how the answer to the problem is prayer, not swim lessons. Totally rational.

    August 3, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. George

    Nobody 'Jumped into' the river – It was a picnic on a sandbar

    Why would kids who can't swim go in the water? It was 105 degrees in Shreveport yesterday . . . . you figure it out

    Who can't swim? My 86 year old mother (white) never learned to swim. I'll *bet* that about 20% of the populatrion of the US can't swim, but it's probably higher than that

    August 3, 2010 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Spike

      20% of the population can't swim? Pathetic! That's like 20% of the population not knowing how to walk.

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

      @spike – what's pathetic is your rationale!

      >>20% of the population can't swim? Pathetic! That's like 20% of the population not knowing how to walk.<<

      lol

      August 3, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rick

    Very sad story

    August 3, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. cam

    this isnt that tradgic, if you cant swim, then stay out of water, pretty simple right? And who in their right mind would be in Louisiana water anyway, too many dangerous animals in there

    August 3, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • RayOfLight

      it is tragic cam,

      if someone voluntarily jumped into deep water and drowned, then yeah, not tragic, but what would be tragic is if someone died trying to save the idiot (brother/sister/etc) that jumped into the deep water not knowing how to swim. get it?

      August 3, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • RayOfLight

      i do agree however with the why would anyone be in louisiana waters anyways?

      August 3, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Carla

      Why would anyone be in Louisiana waters anyway? Well we live in Louisiana so we aren't going to be in Missouri waters, are we? I was in my teens the first time I swam in a real swimming pool. North Louisiana has many lakes, but most aren't "swampy" like south Louisiana. Yes, there are gators, snakes, turtles and fish in our lakes, but they aren't concerned with a bunch of noisy swimmers. There are sharks, jelly fish and rays in the ocean but no one faults people for swimming in oceans.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. 2T2Sgt

    Question – Why do we blame the schools? Seems every time something tragic happens we blame someone else. Whatever happened to the family taking responsibility for their own families actions.? It is tragic that these kids died, but if they didnt know how to swim, then their family should have taught them. If their family didnt know how then send them to a swimming class and have them taught. Lets stop putting or passing the blame on to someone else and start taking responsibility for our own actions.

    August 3, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • MyOpinionz

      Here's a novel idea! No one is to blame. This was a tragic accident!

      August 3, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Leonard

    He said no one in the group of teens, who ranged in age from 13 to 18, could swim. This is sad..I'm sure once they started panicking ...There was nothing they could do to save each other or themselves.

    August 3, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mrs. Tiger Woods

    Can't swim??? Stay away from unfamiliar water!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dave

    Really now people should learn to be a little more compassionate.. Why do people say the dumbest things when others die? It's not a time to joke or say heartless things. 6 people died for goodness sakes..

    August 3, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • JMill20653

      Amen,
      I feel bad for the families, I would not want to trade places with them. I never learned how to swim, however I made it a point for my children to learn, it is up to the parents to learn teach the children OR to find someone else to teach them.
      I will be praying for the families.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Chasaty

      I agree there should be no jokes but many of the posts make sense. WHY was not one single person in the area able to swim? If you live in Shreveport, you know how rivers are. People just adopt the mentality that it couldn't happen to me and thats what lead to this terrible decision to go playing in a river when nobody can swim.

      ITS SAD yes, but it was also EXTREMELY preventable and a poor decision among all. These were not 2 and 3 year olds, so you couldn't just lay blame completely on the parents. It was everyone's responsibility. Even good swimmers should stay away from rivers, creeks, oceans, and any other unpredictable waters. You can go out there if you want but better judgment would tell you to get an inflatable pool, go to a community center, or some other controlled water environment. If you are not a Navy Seal, stick to the pools that have lifeguards or at least other people who can swim

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

    What I don't understand is why anyone, I mean adult, child, whatever, would go into water if they can't swim? I wouldn't scale a mountain if I didn't know how, I wouldn't drive a car if I didn't know how, I wouldn't perform surgery if I didn't know how? Why do people not get it in their heads that swimming is dangerous ESPECAILLY in unfamiliar territory (a lake, pond, stream or whatever) that you don't know? If you must go in, get a life jacket!!! Senseless, senseless deaths here nd 100% preventable. 100% preventable! if you can't aford a lifejacket, how about a rope tid to the shore so if you get into trouble you pull them back in! Too many people loose their lives unncessarily in drownings! This is very sad and I feel bad for these families but hope that some good comes from this and perhaps a life in the future can be saved. Parents, DO NOT let your children go into water if they don't know how to swim. Get a life jacket or tie a rope to them. Something to save their lives.

    August 3, 2010 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      I could not agree more with you John. To bad those parents weren't thinking when they let their child go into the water. I just don't understand what they were thinking. Someone should be getting charge for child endangerment, or negligent homicide because that is exactly what it was!

      August 5, 2010 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Anthony Allbright

    The fact remains: Six people who knew they could not swim; knew the Red River was over their heads in spots, were stupid enough to go into moving, unpredictable water as a group. This event is a perfect example of "Group Think" where individuals in a group actually use less of their intellect, making illogical decisions under the assumption someone other than themselves will shoulder the responsibility for their collective "stupid" decision! In this case, the penalty for stupidity was the forfieture of their lives! Oh well! We live (or die) and learn.

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

      Did it ever occur to you that the kids were caught up in an ankle-deep game of 'follow the leader', and simply waded off the sandbar by accident?

      August 3, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. Polly

    I can't even imagine the pain of losing three children at once. My heart breaks for both families!

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

    Learning how to swim, is there an app for that?

    August 3, 2010 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
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