Waterfall Tragedy: “It just ripped me apart”

(WXIA) The 17-year-old rescued from Georgia’s High Falls State Park after his younger brother died Tuesday is sharing his story of survival.

James Burdette says he wanted to share his side of the story of what happened, so he returned to the state park where he says he and his 12-year-old brother Christian often swam.

“I mean, we do this all the time,” Burdette explained. “We don’t think twice about it.”

Burdette said he and his brother Christian were regulars at the 1,050-acre park.

When they went there on Tuesday, he and his brother entered the water through a little-used trail off of High Falls Road, one that guests don’t often take. Unlike the other trail, there is one warning sign, telling visitors that swimming is prohibited, but Burdette says he and Christian usually blow off the cautions.

They went to the water like they often did, but the current that day, according to Burdette, was rougher than he was used to seeing due to recent heavy rains.

“Christian took a step and just went in,” Burdett said. He dove in to grab him by the arm, but that’s when Burdette said his younger brother told him then, “I’m going to die.”

Read more: http://on.11alive.com/2xBmU5u