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Tubing Accident Has Experts Talking Safety

The tubing accident this weekend has some experts talking safety.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spent the afternoon with a shop owner who’s been in the tubing business more than 30-years.

“It’s a bad deal to lose somebody when it could be preventable if common sense is used,” Bogue Chitto Tubing owner Tony Mizell said.

News of this weekend’s tubing accident in Livingston Parish hits close to home for Tony Mizell.

He’s been in the tubing business more than 30-years.

“I’m my business that’s your worst nightmare. “You don’t want nothing like that to happen.”

A weekend outing on the Amite River turned tragic Sunday; when investigators say 26-year old Joshua Brantley of Hammond, and 26-year old Philip White of Marrero got into trouble, and likely drowned.

“And I assume right off the bat they didn’t have a life-jacket on, or they couldn’t swim.”

He says he goes out of his way recommending life-jackets to adults.

But for minors it’s mandatory.

“If they’re under 16, 16 and under you gotta take one. “Sometimes they’ll throw it down in the parking lot and they won’t wear it. “They throw it down on the river, momma and daddy say you don’t have to wear it, we gotta use common sense here.”

He demonstrated how little effort goes into putting on a life-jacket. Its light weight, and comfortable.

In time you forget you even have it on.

At his shop safety’s first. He’s invested in tubes that have built in safety features.

“This tube has three chambers in it. “Got a chamber here, I can poke a hole in it. “This tube will still float. “Poke two holes in it, still float. “You have to poke three holes in this tube to make it sink.”

He says with the life-jacket and the right tube all you have to do next is stay on the tube.

Even if you can swim.

“Most places on this river you can stand up, but it’s a river and what gets people in trouble you may take one step and it’s waist deep you taken another step it’s over your head so they panic.”

Mizell says when tubing in groups it’s important to keep an eye on everyone in your party.