Dozens learn water safety after Red River tragedy

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –After 6 teens drowned in the Red River, the Stewart Warner Swim Project is trying to bring good from the terrible tragedy.

Nearly 100 people lined the David Raines pool Saturday morning. Of those, only about 5 knew how to swim.

"Water fear is handed down generationally. Your grandmother was scared of the water, your mother's scared of the water. She's taught you to be scared of the water too. So, we're trying to break that cycle," said Shreveport Fire Chief, Brian Crawford.

Members of the Shreveport Fire Department taught children and adults alike what they should do if they find themselves or someone else in danger in the water.

"If you do find yourself in trouble in the water, yell for help as loud as you can. Try not to panic," said Crawford.

He added, if someone else is in trouble and you don't know how to swim, do not get in the water to try to help them. Instead, throw them anything that floats.

"Whether it's an ice cooler or it happens to be a thermos, even a basketball," said Crawford.

Tammie Cade brought all 6 of her children to the demonstration.

"Anytime you say survival, water, training, those are key words for me to come out and let my children get all the information they can get,  said Cade.

She found it helpful, and her kids say they learned.

"If you don't know how to swim, you may drown, and then you have to call for help,  said her son, Carlos.N

No kids got in the water at the demonstration. The program won't offer swimming lessons until the Spring, but teachers say it's important to lay an educational foundation. They plan to hold several more safety demonstrations and educational events in the next 6 months, including 2 on Saturday, August 28.

One demo will be at Querbes Park located at 3500 Beverly Place from 10-11 a.m. on August 28th.  The second will be at Southern Hills Park at 1002 Bert Kouns Loop from 12-1 p.m. on August 28th.

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