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. IcantTakeIt

    CNN is making it sound like they all walked off at once. It was a drop off. One of the victims walked off from the rest of the group. He thought he was drowning so he stared screaming for help. Another victim went out to help but was being pulled on. If you are getting tugged on by a drowning person who is in panick it doesnt matter how excellent of a swimmer you are that can cause you to drown yourself. I'm pretty sure like another commenter said if you have a friend, family member whatever you are not going to sit there looking stupid. It is tragic that it basically became a chain reaction of one person trying to save another. It has nothing to do with race or parental neglect so all of you on your high horse please be quiet and have some respect for each family because they did lose 3 family members each in one day.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Couldnt imagine how these 6 kids all drowned at the same time. I only can guess the combination of not knowing how to swim, panic, and probably horsing around/fighting lead to this tragedy. Again poor parental supervision but the younger children were left with 18 year olds so you cant really say it's the parents fault. You dont even know if the parents knew they where going swimming. So take it easy on the parents on this one.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. julie

    I'm a 38 year old black woman mother of 3. After our 10 year old daughter drowned almost 2 years ago we bought a 24 feet pool, I learned how to swim in less than 4 weeks. I make my daughter (20)to get in pool, yes she has a fit about her hair -than I remind her about her sister.

    I am very very angry with mothers who value their hair more than their children. When my baby was in that casket, my hair didn't matter. I've been crying all morning, my heart aches for the parent's, trust me I know the pain.

    I pray that the same God who gave me peace will give them peace that passes understanding.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Brooke

      @Julie-Yeah… im mad about mothers caring about their hair too. Because of all the things to be mad about on this board… that seems like the logical jump. ALSO way to guilt your daughter with the death of her sister, SUPER parenting skills Julie. So how you liking you’re new home in the hills of West Virginia? Did you get that copy of deliverance I mailed to you?

      August 3, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • RayOfLight

      value their hair more than their children?!? wow.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. TW

    When it mentioned the local ministers in the area counseling the grief stricken families....wonder what they said that was comforting. Maybe, God needed 3 more angels from the same family? Would that comfort me? No. After checking out that myself from my own Bible, I can't fit that "concept" or religious belief with what the Bible says. Psalm. 148:4,5. Vs 5 says the angels were "created". Job 38:4-7 calls the angels "morning stars" and that they existed before the earth was created. And further research, digging deeper to find out for myself, if the dead "know nothing" (Ecc. 9:5,10) how can they do anything for God?... and if the "soul" can "die" than it knows nothing? (Ezekiel 18:4). Most if not all preachers/ministers can not even tell people what those who go to heaven will be doing. They do say, God "needed".... for what? What did God need them for them to do? I think that is a very good question!! Well the Bible says that those who go to heaven have jobs to do...not just float around and play harps and walk on golden streets. What are the jobs? (Rev. 20:6; Rev. 5:10;1Co. 6:2) And incidentally, who is "we" that Paul said would judge the "angels"?! Well this is all interesting. So many different concepts, so many different religions all teaching conflicting things. Why "conflicting" beliefs?. Why?, Honestly and truthfully, logically and reasonably....can everyone be correct?

    August 3, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Have sympathy

    We all remember being teenagers, how nieve, brave and thoughtless we were. They obvioulsy wern't expecting a drop like that (who would). It clearly isn't the parents fault, they are teenagers, not toddlers. If any of you have or have had a teenager, you know that there is no way to watch them 24-7, let alone have them even let you be a helicopter parent. it would drive them apart from you.

    Please have some sympathy for the poor family who lost 3 of their children all at once, can you imagine the horror/pain/loss they are feeling right now. It is bad enough to loose one child, but all 3! God you people that go on saying horrible things about the parents make me sick! Also it help to read the article, not skim through it making judgements, they "they waded into unfamiliar waters and fell into a deeper part of the Red River" Not jumped/dived into it! An person who couldn't swim wouldn't dive or jump into water. Clearly they just wanted to cool down from the hot Lousianna heat.

    My heart goes out to these families.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • KarlafromFresno

      Yes, thank you for posting this. I am so disgusted with fellow americans. You really should be ashamed of your selves. Are we not taught to be nice and if we dont have anyting nice to say dont say it. That should be the lesson learned here. Not putting people down for not having swimming lessons. I am so insulted for these families. Its funny how people forget to have Compassion when someone else is hurting and going thru a difficult time in there lives. God forbid that the people posting all the negative comments ever go thru some horrific tragedy, you would only hope that you have positive support from people around you. Stop looking for fault and just be a little nice. It really won't kill any of you. My heart goes out to the family suffering right now, I truly am sorry for your loss, and I pray your heart gets healing. God Bless you.

      August 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SAD

    These two families have just gone through one of the worst experiences ever, I can't imagine their greif. For anyone to blame the kids or the parents sickens me. It's pretty simple... two families spending time together and children playing then tragedy hits. I feel for the families and the great loss!

    August 3, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. AB

    When it mentioned the local ministers in the area counseling the grief stricken families....wonder what they said that was comforting. Maybe, God needed 3 more angels from the same family? Would that comfort me? No. After checking out that myself from my own Bible, I can't fit that "concept" or religious belief with what the Bible says. Psalm. 148:4,5. Vs 5 says the angels were "created". Job 38:4-7 calls the angels "morning stars" and that they existed before the earth was created. And further research, digging deeper to find out for myself, if the dead "know nothing" (Ecc. 9:5,10) how can they do anything for God?... and if the "soul" can "die" than it knows nothing? (Ezekiel 18:4). Most if not all preachers/ministers can not even tell people what those who go to heaven will be doing. They do say, God "needed".... for what? What did God need them for them to do? I think that is a very good question!! Well the Bible says that those who go to heaven have jobs to do...not just float around and play harps and walk on golden streets. What are the jobs? (Rev. 20:6; Rev. 5:10;1Co. 6:2) And incidentally, who is "we" that Paul said would judge the "angels"?! Well this is all interesting. So many different concepts, so many different religions all teaching conflicting things. Why "conflicting" beliefs?. Why?, Honestly and truthfully, logically and reasonably....can everyone be correct?

    August 3, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nique

    God Bless these children and their families. I do not know how to swim either and only one of my two children know how to swim. I went to the neighborhood YMCA as a child and I took swimming lessons in school. However, swimming was just not for me. After reading this story, I have decided that I need to take more lessons and learn how to swim – FOR REAL. I would hate to be in a situation where my one child that does not know how to swim winds up in a tragic situation like these children and I could not save him. I'm signing up for lessons very soon!!

    August 3, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tammy

    There should have been signs posted "dangerous, do not swim". I think there should be a law too that every child learn to swim. Government should pay for swimming lessons. So important, can save so many lives. God comfort the family that lost their loved ones. They are in the good thoughts and prayers of many people. T.

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

      Tammy, posting signs "it's dangerous to swim? Is there any doubt it's dangerous if you don't know how to swim??? And, a LAW........really????

      August 3, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. mark

    Stupidity knows no boundries.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tyler

    eh, just purifying the gene pool – thanks guys!

    August 3, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • SAD

      Honestly think about what you just said, you are talking about children! what is wrong with you?

      August 3, 2010 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Iris

    Sad and tragic. God bless these children and my condolences to the families. I myself almost drowned as a child and
    and have a tremendous fear of pools and lakes, which keeps me out of them. Some of these comments are just plain insensitive and rude because race is not the issue. It's about 6 teenagers who lost their lives who leave behind grieving
    families. And to all of you have a safe and blessed day.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jiggetts

    I am from Shreveport and it is sad what happen to those children I have three sons that are very close and they would done the same thing try to save each other. People from Louisiana are no different than any other place I should know I am an Airforce brat people should educated water safety.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. manoutnumbrd

    I'm reading all of this and it seems that there may be some misunderstanding as to the difference between "Can"t swim", and "Can't learn to swim". A lot of people are slamming others because they think that they are picking on African Americans and their inability to swim. No one here said that they can't learn to swim. they said that they don't know how to swim. Big difference here. Nissan stated that there is an instilled fear of water in african american children due to their parents instructions. Why?? couldn't say but apparently there is. Every human being can learn to swim and should be given the opportunity to try. Some parents chose not to offer this option to their children. I have six kids. All could swim miles if necessary and all could swim a river without panic if necessary. They were in the water before they could walk and I did this because when I was in the Phillippines I lost friends who couldn't swim or weren't strong swimmers and I refused to have my children in that position. I agree with most. It should be a part of our kids education. All schools should teach swimming and demand that every child be taught. It should be as important as math or history. so....no one said that African Americans can't learn to swim. They just said that they can't swim. No offence intended I'm sure. Prayers to all the famlies and friends of these children.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Laura

    msn.com has a more complete story. Apparently it was a family cookout, and the kids were playing on the sandbar. One of the kids wandered into a part that he didn't realize dropped off and started to drown. The kids went to help, but were pulled or fell down themselves. The family was there, but they could only watch because no one knew how to swim. Its just so incredibly sad that they were playing in a river without knowing how to swim, and without a life vest for protection.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
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