What was a normal Sunday afternoon out at the lake turned into a tragedy after two teenage boys, ages 15 and 17, drowned in Caney lake at the public launch on the Methodist camp side of the lake.
“It’s unfortunate circumstances. It took place yesterday afternoon, but about 7:09 yesterday afternoon, the sheriff’s office received the call, and there were two individuals in distress at the Caney lake public launch,” said Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton.
“We immediately dispatched our deputies to it. They said the young men were swimming there off the boat launch, and when our deputies got there, they shook their gear, duty weapons, vests, things that weighed them down. All three of the deputies went into the water trying to recover the young men as soon as they possibly could.
The water is murky right now because of the rains that we had, so the visibility in the water was extremely limited. They were unable to recover the young men.”
After additional help arrived from Wildlife and Fisheries and Minden Rescue, divers were able to retrieve the young men’s bodies relatively close to the pier.
While the boat launch is not a designated swimming area, Sexton noted that there was no signage that he could see referencing these restrictions.
“It is a public boat launch, it is not a swimming area, but there are no restrictions that were posted there that I could see or that I was notified about,” Sexton said.
The deaths are still under investigation to determine the reason that the two teens drowned. Sexton stated that a steep drop off at the end of the pier could’ve potentially caught them off guard compared to the shallower area to the sides of the pier.
“It’s still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office. I don’t know if the young men basically couldn’t swim or got into some other kind of distress, but it’s unfortunate circumstances that we couldn’t get there in time to save them,” said Sexton.
“It’s apparent that the side that they were swimming on is a shallower area, and they could stand up on that side. The pier is about thirty feet long, and it appears to my understanding that the young men jumped off the end of the pier, and at the end of the pier it was revealed to me that when the lake was built, they dug that part down to build a levee, and so there was a real steep drop off.
It was just a healthy environment. They were enjoying a Sunday afternoon down at the lake, and it just turned tragic for everybody.”