Teen Dies in Waterskiing Accident

Another missing; both were football teammates


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Two Pascagoula High School students were caught in strong currents while waterskiing on the Pascagoula River Sunday, leaving one dead and the other missing.

Heavy rains had brought the river to flood levels when the teens decided to go waterskiing with friends. Sophomore Caleb Sweeten drowned after being pulled under a moored barge in a strong current, and rescuers have not yet found his friend, senior Brandon Rich, also taken by the current.

Sweeten and Rich were teammates on the Pascagoula Panthers football team. Rich had just accepted a scholarship to play football at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the fall after overcoming a serious heart condition last year. His family is still holding out hope that Rich, a strong athlete who was wearing a life vest at the time, survived the accident.

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