BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) – Benton County rescuers have released the name of a missing 21-year-old woman who’s been missing since going out on Beaver Lake, deputies said.
The missing woman was identified as Stacey Hernandez, according to authorities. Rescuers have been searching Beaver Lake for Hernandez since Tuesday (March 24), officials said.
Hernandez and four of her family members were on the lake; three of them were in a canoe, and the other two were in a paddle boat, authorities said. Two of the people in the group were juveniles, and three people had life jackets, the rest did not, according to authorities.
The paddle boat began to fill with water, and those in the canoe tried to help, causing the canoe to tip over. All five people then swam to shore in different directions, and the group got separated, according to authorities.
Deputies said the call for Hernandez came in just before 4 p.m. on Tuesday in the area of Coppermine Acres. They said they are now treating the search as a recovery rather than a rescue.
The lake is more than 130 feet deep in the area, so authorities used sonar to search for the missing woman. Crews said the water temperature was about 50 degrees on Tuesday.
Search crews also brought in a helicopter on Wednesday, but said the water was too murky to see anything.
Alcohol doesn’t appear to have been a factor in the accident, according to deputies.
The family is from Rogers, and they were renting a cabin on Beaver Lake, according to authorities. The canoe and paddle boat came with the cabin rental, authorities said.
Crews have recovered the paddle boat and said right now it’s unclear why it sank.