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Witness describes panic on river during drownings

10 months ago Monday, June 23, 2014 8:19:39 PM CDT June 23, 2014 Monday, June 23 2014 Jun 23, 2014 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - A man recounted his experience on the Amite River Monday, a day after he witnessed a panic as two fellow tubers drowned.

Joshua Brantley, 26, and Phillip White, 26, died after disappearing not long after entering the river Sunday afternoon.

Anthony Alongi was downriver when a group behind him started to panic and said two members of their group were missing.

"Initially we just thought either... the guy is messing with us or, you know, the people just didn't get in the water yet or hiding or playing a joke or something," Alongi remembered in an interview with WBRZ.

"We just kept going down and didn't take it too seriously until we saw a police search."

Alongi said he is troubled about knowing someone died not far behind his group on the river.

"What I keep thinking about is the people they came with and the ride home and what they had to endure and looking at those two empty seats that those two people had occupied. I couldn't imagine how they made that drive back home.  You just keep thinking that maybe if you would've stayed a little bit behind, you know, then we could've seen something going on or done something to prevent it."

Brantley and White were not wearing life-jackets.

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