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Contact: Caven Clark, 870-365-2790
Contact: Casey Johannsen, 870-449-4311The search for a second person whose canoe capsized in the Buffalo River Wednesdaycontinued until 7 pm today (4/27). Search efforts on both banks and on the river between Kyles Landing and Erbie produced negative results in spite of significantly lower water levels and an expanded search team.
The incident occurred when a group of four men in four canoes decided to tackle the flood waters above Kyles. Two canoes managed to traverse the distance safely but two overturned. The missing individual was last reported in the water across from the launch site at Kyles and has not been seen since. Personal items belonging to the missing man and those with whom he was paddling was recovered today. Both canoes that had dumped yesterday were recovered today.
The search was headed by Buffalo National River with assistance from the Arkansas Canoe Club, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Buffalo National River Search & Rescue,Carroll County Emergency Management, Christian Aid Ministry, Harrison Fire Department, Harrison Swift Water Rescue Hasty VFD, Lost Valley Canoe & Lodging, Mennonite Disaster Services Search & Rescue, Mount Sherman VFD, and TriCounty Search & Rescue. In addition to kayaks, and a variety of motorized vessels, a sniffer dog was used in areas where personal belongings were identified.
While river levels continue to drop, the overall conditions for the search remain hampered by high and turbid water. Conditions will improve tomorrow but will be followed by heavy rains throughout the weekend. Tomorrow's search effort will focus on river banks within the same search area as before.
The Buffalo River is closed to floating between Kyles Landing and Erbie until further notice. Visitors are also reminded that many park areas are now or soon will be closed in anticipation of heavy rains this weekend. Floating is not recommended and visitors who plan on camping should call Tyler Bend Visitor Center at 870/439-2502 or Buffalo Point Visitor Contact Station at 870/449-4310.