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Baxter County Patrol Vehicle

Storm Causes Kayak Accident Claims Life of United Kingdom Man


On Friday June 23 at approximately 2:36 pm, 911 received a call of a possible drowning near the boat launching ramp at Lake Norfork Dam and that CPR was being administered to the victim.

Baxter County Sheriff’s Deputies, First Responders from Salesville Fire Dept. Rangers from Corps of Engineers along with ambulance personnel from Baxter Regional Medical Center responded. The victim, 71 year old Jim Colbert from the United Kingdom later died at the hospital.

From witness statements Jim Colbert and a family relative were in Kayaks on Lake Norfork while other family members were on shore nearby. When the storm hit the two tried to make it ashore but the wind caused Colbert’s kayak to overturn. Family members were able to get Mr. Colbert to shore but he was unresponsive. CPR was started and the 911 call was made It is believed that Colbert was sitting on a life jacket but not wearing it.  

The sudden storm produced high winds, heavy rain and caused trees to be uprooted and power outages across Baxter County. 

Sheriff John Montgomery