SEARCY COUNTY, Ark. — A quick response by wildlife officers training along the Buffalo National River is credited for saving two lives.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officers were involved in swift-water rescue training near Shine Eye Campground in Searcy County when they noticed a young boy struggling to swim in the water. A man fishing nearby attempted to help the boy but was pulled away from the bank into the current.
The man grabbed the struggling boy as the pair fought to keep their heads above water.
A wildlife officer ran into the rive and tossed a throw bag to the man, who grabbed the line. As the officer was anchoring himself, the gravel bar he was standing on gave way, and he was swept into the water. Another wildlife officer grabbed the officer that fell into the water, and both officers swam into an eddy to reach the boy and the angler.
The officers swam to the struggling pair and kept them both afloat.
Officers threw another line to the boy and the man, and they pulled everyone to the river bank.
No injuries were reported due to the incident, but medical attention was required.
Multiple medical events were recorded on the Buffalo River over the weekend, including a 61-year-old man from Overland Park, Kansas, who died of a possible cardiac event.
Wildlife officers encourage visitors to the Buffalo National River to self-assess and take proper safety precautions, such as wearing a life jacket while recreating in the water.