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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Family and friends of drowning victim start petition for life rings

PORT ARTHUR- by Haley Bull

Street by street, house by house, line by line, family and friends of Christopher Ramirez are trying to collect 10,000 signatures on a petition to put life rings on piers just one week after Ramirez drowned.

"I just couldn't believe it'd be him, you know," Ramirez's uncle, Matthew Merritt said.

"This is all for him so this way his drowning won't be in vain," Kristie Isaacs, a friend of Ramirez, said.

May 10th, Ramirez and his girlfriend went to a fishing pier on Pleasure Island near North Levee Rd. Port Arthur Police said he dropped personal belongings in the water, went in after them and began struggling. His girlfriend left to call 911, but when she returned, he was missing. Emergency workers found his body several hours later.

Merritt said Ramirez was a strong swimmer. "Don't think it can't happen to you," he said. "It was just one of those freak things."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about ten people die each day from unintentional drowning. It's a statistic Ramirez's family and friends want to lower that statistic, starting with the fishing pier where Ramirez drowned.

"I was just thinking what could have saved him and it was a life ring, just something that simple," Merritt said.

"We would like to go and make the public aware and get their support on putting rings out on every pier so that way somebody could have something to throw just in case someone needed it, so no one has to drown anymore," Isaacs said.

It's a push to keep people at the piers on Pleasure Island and others safe.

"If we can save one life, don't matter if it's 20 years from now," Merritt told one person signing the petition.

A tragedy, this group is turning into a call for action.

The petition can be signed on paper and online.

 

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