The Baxter County Sheriff's Office helicopter was used to locate and rescue two lost canoeists Monday evening off the White River. The Sheriff's Office was notified about 6:30 PM that two persons who had been canoeing on the North Fork and White Rivers were about three hours overdue.
The caller reported that two people from the Kansas City, Missouri area, a man and a woman, Larry and Carrol Young, had put in on the North Fork river below the Norfork Dam Monday morning. They were to head down the North Fork River to its intersection with the White River, then go downstream several miles to Red's Landing on the White River, where they would stop and take out.
Search boats from the Norfork Volunteer Fire Department and the Sheriff's Office helicopter were launched to search for the overdue canoeists. They were finally spotted about 8:15 PM on the White River several miles below Calico Rock. Pilot Benny Magness landed the helicopter on the river bank and was able to communicate with these persons. They had missed their exit point at Red's Landing many miles back upriver. They had turned over the canoe in the rapidly flowing water at some point, but had managed to re-board it. They did not know where they were at.
Pilot Magness was able to direct these persons downsteam about another two miles to a location near the Sylamore Creek/Allison area in Stone County. The helicopter again landed, and the helicopter crew was able to assist the canoeists in exiting the river at this point. They were not injured, but were not in condition to travel further. Fog was beginning to set in on the river and dusk was approaching. They were both airlifted by helicopter after night fall back to Red's Landing in Baxter County, where first responders with the Norfork Volunteer Fire Department were waiting for them. They did not require medical attention.
The names and identity of the canoeists are not available at this time.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff