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Contact: Caven Clark, 870/365-2790
The body of 27 year old Stephen A Carney of Austin TX who had jumped from a high bluff last Friday and never resurfaced was located at about 4 pm (Sunday). The victim and several friends had been floating theriverand had decided to take a break and jump from the bluff. Witness' reported Carney had taken about a fifteen foot run towards the edge of the bluff and did a somersault and landed on his facial and frontal area. TheBuffaloRiverwas running high and was extremely murky at the time of the accident.
Responders included the Newton County Search and Rescue team, Newton County Sheriff's Office, Tri-County Search and Rescue, the Mennonite Disaster Service Search and Rescue Team, Harrison Swift Water Rescue, andBuffaloNationalRiverSearch and Rescue.
Beginning Friday afternoon numerous boats, including two with side-scanning sonar, were deployed in and below the accident area. Heavy rain on Friday night-Saturday morning raised theBuffaloto flood stage and brought down a large amount of woody debris that hampered search efforts. By Sunday theriverhad receded three feet and was becoming more clear, making the use of a boat-mounted fish eye camera possible.
The body of Mr. Carney was located approximately 844 feet downstream from the point where he was last seen diving into the water. The Mennonite team located the remains using a side-scanning sonar and the actual recovery was made by Harrison Swift Water Rescue.