DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BRPROUD) – Tiki Tubing receives backlash after tubers had to be rescued due to high waters on the river.
On Sunday, this message was posted on the Tiki Tubing Facebook page: “Due to high water we are closed Sunday. Will reopen on Monday.”
This message came a day after tubers were rescued from the Amite River. What was supposed to be a nice birthday celebration for these tubers soon turned into a nightmare.
Rescued tuber Joe Shyne said, “About 30 minutes in it was no longer a good time.”
A group of friends traveled all the way from Shreveport for a weekend of fun at Tiki Tubing.
“And they said the water was higher than normal, but all that means was the trip was going to be faster. They didn’t say it was going to be more dangerous,” said Shyne.
He said the experience was terrifying.
Shyne said, “We had another one who had to hold on to a piece of debris for his life because Lord knows if he would’ve let go, he would have been going with the current.”
The Central Fire Department and Livingston Parish Fire District #4 were called to Tiki Tubing around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Specifically, three boats and their crews from the Central Fire Department were tasked with “locating and removing an injured tuber on the Amite River.”
In total, the two responding fire departments helped “remove a total of 14 other tubers from the area.” A spokesperson for the Central Fire Department said “with the height and flow of the river, it’s not safe.”
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Acadian Ambulance and EBR EMS provided assistance at the scene.
This is just one of several incidents at this attraction.
Earlier this year LSU baseball player Ma’Khail Hilliard’s father drowned after getting off his tube.
Saturday a woman in Shyne’s group was hurt after flipping off her tube. She didn’t want to go on camera but sent a statement saying: “I will be dealing with the mental and emotional impact of this near-death experience.”
“It was very scary thinking… how do you save this person when this current and debris is going everywhere?” said Shyne.
People are now asking parish leaders to bring awareness to the dangers of this business
Shyne said, “For some reason, this business is still allowed to run. Even though we survived, if nobody does anything… what happens to the next person?”
Shyne said employees had left for the day by the time they got back.
BRProud reached out to Tiki Tubing for comment, they have yet to get back to us. We also reached out to the Livingston Parish Fire Department. They declined to comment.