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DEQUINCY, LA (KPLC) -
For the Simpson family, their visit to Holbrook Park near DeQuincy was supposed to be an outdoor getaway.
"We were going to go fishing and let the kids play in the park," said Brittany Tipton, the oldest of three. "It was just going to be a good day."
20-year-old Kyle Simpson of Lake Charles, and Tipton's youngest brother, was attempting to swim towards a rope swing he saw across the river near the park. Simpson's family watched as he went under and never resurfaced. Tipton says she recalls jumping in to try to rescue him.
"He was just to the right of the rope swing," said Tipton. "He looked at me in the face with a look of like, "I need help." I got to the rope swing, I was about halfway and we went down. I tried to swim faster and when I got to the rope swing, I went down several times to try to get to him but, it was just too deep."
The Calcasieu Sheriff's Office Marine Division responded and recovered Simpson's body shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night.
As Simpson's family look at pictures of happier times, they say Simpson had a vibrant personality. They say Simpson liked to hunt and fish and loved life but are still finding it hard to believe he's gone.
"It just still seems surreal," said Simpson's older brother Jackie. "I was watching the video earlier on my phone of just me and him picking up my dad. It's hard."
Tipton says through the strength of their family and prayer, Simpson will never be forgotten.
"If you met Kyle," said Tipton. "The first thing you would have the biggest smile in your face. He was a jokester, loved people, very carefree. Just … amazing."
The Simpson family is collecting donations towards funeral arrangements at King's Funeral home located at 1611 Highway 14 in Lake Charles.
If you would like to receive information on how you can help the Simpson family, call 337-439-7729.
All donations must be made by Monday, March 24 at noon.