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Recovery efforts continue for missing father and son on Beaver Lake

Cajun Coast Search & Rescue assisted in efforts to locate Chuck and Charley Morris, who were reported missing after a kayaking trip on Beaver Lake on March 16.

GARFIELD, Ark. — It’s now been four days since a father and son went missing while kayaking on Beaver Lake.  

47-year-old Chuck Morris and his 20-year-old son Charley left Lost Bridge on kayaks Thursday, March 16 at 11 a.m. They were reported missing several hours later after not returning. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office started searching immediately but had to halt the search after a few hours due to the weather. They found one kayak and life jacket in the pine log hollow area.

A statement posted on social media by the Morris' family stated that both "the family and the commanders leading the search and recovery activities are in agreement as to the fate and probable location of Chuck and Charley."

According to the post, local authorities and special units are continuing recovery efforts to bring the father and son home.   

To read the family's full statement, click here

Chuck Morris is a percussionist in Lotus, an instrumental electronic jam band that’s been around for more than two decades. The members of the band are based all across the country but Morris lives in Kansas City.

“We just wrapped up a 25-date U.S. tour and we've been to Japan six times. We've been all over the U.S. and played hundreds of shows, made a lot of albums,” said Jesse Miller, guitarist for Lotus.

Miller says Chuck was the kind of person that everybody got along with and was just fun to be around. He described Chuck as “the person at the shows that all the fans seemed to have a story about with just a really unique, unique mind.” 

Credit: Charles Morris

According to Miller, being in a band made him and Chuck act more like brothers, living out of buses and being together during the highest highs and the lowest lows. 

“There's really no describing this kind of tragedy. I mean obviously no one expects something like this. It's just so out of the blue and just the double whammy of Chuck and Charley is just really, really brutal,” he said.

The search for Chuck and Charley continued Monday, March 20 in the Lost Bridge south area of the lake with the help of Cajun Coast Search and Rescue. Toney Wade has been doing search and rescue for more than 30 years.

“The dog sits on the bow of the boat and we do a grid real slow just for him to pick up any scent. He'll give an alert to us and we'll drop a buoy on it. After that, we'll get a diver from the sonar team to check it out,” said Wade.

Wade says the scent rises to the surface of the water. The search and rescue team says they were able to cover a lot of area Monday and that their dog showed a few signs of interest but the cold and windy conditions on the water made it difficult to pinpoint anything.

The team anticipates Wednesday's weather to be good enough to continue to search but says they could also continue searching on Tuesday. 

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