Two drown on Bogue Chitto

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 27, 2011

Two men drowned over the weekend in the Bogue Chitto River in Washington Parish, according to the sheriff’s office.

The men died in separate incidents.

The first occurred Saturday.

Kirk Craig Jr., 21, from the New Orleans area, was “a tuber” out of Wayne’s World, said Chief Criminal Deputy Scott Blair.  

“He was swimming in the river and according to witnesses he got tired and was cramping,” he said. “One buddy tried to help when he went down. He pulled, but he had to turn loose. Mr. Craig disappeared at around 5:52 p.m. in about 15 feet of water.”

Almost exactly 24 hours later, the second man drowned inside the Bogue Chitto State Park, which opened last August. It was the second park-related drowning, Blair said.

On Sunday, Reginald Burris, 31, whose exact address is unknown but who was originally from the Franklinton area, “went down at approximately 6 p.m. and his body was recovered at about 8 p.m.,” Blair said.

“According to witnesses, he and his son both seemed to be struggling,” he said. “I think Reginald was trying to help his son. Witnesses saw them and tried to help them both. They did end up getting the boy out. But they were unable to get Mr. Burris.”

Sheriff Robert Crowe warns tubers and everyone else who gets on the river to do so with care.

“At the park they have signs up that say, ‘Swim at your own risk’ and so forth,” he said. “Especially if you are not familiar with the river, be careful. There’s a little undertow after you get down several feet.”

“Be careful and wear life jackets.”