8th Annual Water Resource Festival teaches drowning prevention - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

8th Annual Water Resource Festival teaches drowning prevention

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BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -

As the heat rises, so does the number of drowning deaths. In fact, every day ten people die from drowning in the United States, according to the CDC, and of those ten, two are children under the age of 14. That's just part of the inspiration behind the 8th annual 'Water Resource Festival.'

Just three years ago, a day of fun turned tragic, when a group of six teenagers drowned at a family barbeque on the Red River. The sole survivor, remembers what he went through. "I went out and slipped off the cliff and then they tried to help me," said Dekendrix Warner. Authorities would later say the teenagers didn't know how to swim and died trying to save each other. It's a tragedy that attracted national attention at the time and even inspired 12-time Olympic champion swimmer, Byron Davis to come to this 8th Annual Water Resource festival to teach children water safety.

"We can't afford to have another child's life cut short just because they didn't know how to swim," said Davis. During the two day festival, Byron along with Shreveport and Bossier water rescue groups gave tips for those who can't swim, the best way to save someone from drowning.

"It's very important to save yourself and keep from entering the water, maybe try to reach out, with a limb or a stick...because when someone is drowning they are in a panic mode, they are likely to pull you under too," said Shreveport Fire Captain Jeff Smith.

 Also at the event, a rescue team simulated a water rescue for a crowd of on-lookers and kids had fun hanging out with Bobber the Water Safety Dog. But what Byron hopes kids take away, is the importance of water safety, so a tragedy like the Red River drownings never happens again. "We live in a time and an age where that should not be a factor any longer," said Davis.

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