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Rolling down the Red River

Three college students are traveling down river in a homemade pontoon boat
Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 3:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - What are your plans for the summer? You might be going on vacation or taking a trip to the zoo. Well, three teenagers decided to spend their summer building a homemade pontoon boat and traveling down the Red River.

Jak Krouse, Ned Newton and McCoy Patterson started in Shreveport earlier this week and are hoping to make it to New Orleans by June 17. The guys got their idea from a family member who did the same when they were in college.

Krouse said, “My dad and his friends built like a tiny raft and took it down the Ohio River for four days and I thought that was so cool. I said that I would like to do something like that.”

Like father, like son, Jak and two of his fraternity brothers from Washington and Lee University in Virginia, McCoy Patterson and Ned Newton, decided to design their own boat. The only problem was, they’ve never built a boat before. However, it’s 2021, so they watched Youtube videos and in less than a week, had a floating pontoon boat.

Their original idea was to start their trip on the Mississippi River but instead, decided on an easier route.

Newton helped build the pontoon boat and said, “We’ve obviously never done anything like this before so we figured it would be smarter to start on a river that wasn’t as mighty as the Mississippi River.”

They named the boat the “Tequila Shark” based on an inside joke. They are carrying food, water and gas but also the true necessities on their trip.

“We got an air horn and a lot of books but I don’t think we will be reading any of them. The books are all river-related,” said Krouse.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for them as they’ve encountered barges, alligators and mosquitos, but they are still hoping they can finish their journey.

Krouse said, “The goal is to get to New Orleans in one piece. If the boat sunk the day after we arrived, I wouldn’t be upset at all.”

The boys are posting videos and pictures of their experience on their Instagram account. You can follow their account @tequila.shark.

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