16-year-old Arkansas boy drowns in Buffalo National River on Memorial Day

ARKANSAS, USA — According to officials, on Monday, May 25, a 16-year-old male from Newport, Ark. drowned in the Buffalo River.

At approximately 5:15 p.m. on Monday, notification was received by Buffalo National River dispatch that a swimmer was in distress in the park’s Middle District, at Grinders Ferry. 

A 16-year-old male attempted to swim across the river in deep and swift current. Eyewitnesses stated the young man began struggling as he swam and went underwater as he neared the other side of the river and never resurfaced.

Officials say he was not wearing a life jacket. 

At approximately 5:45 p.m., National Park Service Rangers arrived on scene and immediately began searching the area via motorized boats. The Searcy County Sheriff’s Office and Searcy County Dive team also responded, and divers entered the water at approximately 6:50 p.m.  

At 7:45 p.m. the Searcy County Dive Team recovered the body of the young man in 10-15 feet of swift and murky water.

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