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Father of drowning victim wants water park closed

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DENHAM SPRINGS - The father of a teenager who drowned at an area water park is not happy after reading the incident report.

The WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit obtained a copy of the report, written by the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, dealing with the incident at Cajun Lagoon, a water park in Livingston Parish. In July, 14-year-old Nick Kissner drowned there.

Owners told investigators there were four lifeguards on duty at the time of the drowning. The park's insurance company only requires one lifeguard and there is now law regulating the number, either.

John Kissner, Nick's father, believes that is an issue. He told WBRZ News 2 in an exclusive interview, if there were more lifeguards, his son might have survived.

"A place that size should have 15 to 20 lifeguards," Kissner said.

The facility owners also said in the report, lifeguards watch over assigned sections of the park; but could not provide any specifics about what was being monitored the day Nick Kissner drowned.

"You're supposed to watch where your lifeguards are," said Kissner. "You're supposed to make sure that they're working."

Park customers sign a waiver acknowledging the park has "unanticipated risks that could leak to injury, paralysis or death" as they enter. Some patrons are required to wear life jackets.

Kissner's son was found by a member of his church group, who were with him, after a 20 minute search.

Cajun Lagoon has all the parish permits needed to operate a business. The owners of Cajun Lagoon have not made a public statement since the drowning.

But, Kissner said he believes the business should be closed.

Cajun Lagoon did not wish to comment on this story today, a park employee said owners had not seen the report.

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