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Search Underway For Missing Swimmer

Buffalo National River

National Park News

Early on the evening of Tuesday, May 24th, rangers received a report that a swimmer had been swept downstream on the Buffalo River at Blue Hole. Although the river was at flood stage, flowing at about 3400 cubic feet per second, two men entered the river and swam across it to explore John Eddings Cave. One of the men was able to make it back okay, but the other, reportedly not a strong swimmer, was swept downstream for several hundred yards and was last seen where the river turned at a bend. A young woman who was on shore reported that she ran along the bank parallel to him and that he eventually stopped swimming and was swept around the bend. Personnel from the park SAR team and the Newton County Sheriff's Office SAR team joined family and friends in a hasty search of the area on both land and water. The search was suspended around midnight due to storms. On Wednesday, thirteen local agencies continued the search, including many volunteer fire departments, the Arkansas Game and Fish dive team, several swiftwater rescue teams from surrounding counties, and an Arkansas State Police helicopter. Sonar technology was also used. The search continued yesterday under a unified command comprised of the National Park Service and the Newton County Arkansas Sheriff's Office.


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