When young I almost died wading in a Louisiana river myself. There are undercurrents you can’t see or feel until you take a step and drop down several feet at least. I knew how to swim but it kept pulling me under. Thank God my dad, bless his soul, saw what was happening and he jumped in and saved me. Never stepped foot in any river since.
There is a lake here in Northern CA that has pot holes all around the edge of it just inside the water line. Every year some kid, and sometimes several, will step into a hole while wading and drown .