McCurtain County sheriff warns against swimming at Rocky Shoals

Published: Jun. 30, 2017 at 10:52 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2017 at 11:41 PM CDT
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(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)
(Source: Fred Gamble/KSLA News 12)

MCCURTAIN COUNTY, OK (KSLA) - After several drowning deaths in the Red River at Rocky Shoals in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, authorities warn against getting into the water.

McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Claridy said that the Red River is a dangerous place and that visitors should think twice about entering the water. He couldn't recall the number but said several people have died at this location over the past couple years.

"You may be walking in it and it'll be two or three feet deep, but then if you keep walking, it may be waist deep or 15 or 20 feet deep," Claridy said. "That river is constantly changing."

The latest drowning has some saying it should be closed but the sheriff said it is nothing his department can do.

"You have to go across private property to access this," Claridy said. "When you do access it, it's is on the river and by state law, you can't restrict people from the waterways."

Claridy said that there are no barriers to keep people from getting to the waterway. He said that when there were barriers in the past, visitors would walk around them.

One Texarkana, Texas Family says they've two family members drown at Rocky Shoals. Last month, the family lost 10-year-old Ny'Asia "Diamond" Britt while she was attempting to rescue her cousin from the rushing water.

It is the second time the family lost someone there.

"Nine years ago the exact day and the exact same spot, we lost a cousin Rekay Royal. And he was taken under by a current as well," said Britt's uncle Channen Branch.

Ny'Asia "Diamond" Britt's funeral will be held at Grace Life Church in Blytheville, Arkansas on July 1.

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page seeking $5,500 to help with her funeral expenses. It was set up June 22 by Victoria Britt, of Texarkana, Ark.

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