A deadly boating tragedy leaves a family grieving. It happened Saturday afternoon on Cypress Lake just outside Benton, Louisiana. A father and son were in the middle of an afternoon on the water when their small boat started rocking side to side, filling it with water.
Homeowners watched on shore, springing to action. It is a story of one family coming to the rescue of another.
Mike Collier has lived on Cypress Lake for twenty years. He says he saw a man in the water, hanging onto an ice chest, calling for help. Collier's 18-year old son jumped in the family boat and rushed in to help.
"I really wasn't thinking a whole lot at the time just kind going on it" Jack Collier said. The high school senior pulled 74-year old William Pearson and his son into the boat. Pearson's son survived after holding onto a Styrofoam ice chest but for the 74-year old it was too late. He drowned.
"People come out here to have fun and relax and anytime there's tragedy involved, it's just a sad situation for everybody" says Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sgt. Wesley Walker.
But he says it is a situation that may have been prevented. Neither one of the men was wearing a life vest. "Number one thing, if you don't remember anything else, which there's a lot of laws you need to remember, but the first and foremost thing is always wear your life-jacket. If you wear it all the time, you can never go wrong" Sgt. Walker says.
"Water it'd getcha, it'll bite ya, it's dangerous and I have seen the accidents out there. This is probably the sixth or seventh time I've witnessed a bad accident out here. That's what happens in the water" says Mike Collier.
The Pearson's boat sunk and authorities will try to recover it in the next few days to see what can be salvaged for the family. Sgt. Walker says the two men were probably too far out to swim to shore. He warns distances are deceptive in the water. You may think you are closer than you are.