BOAT FLIPS OVER ON WHITE RIVER AND ONE MAN DROWNS
At approximately 1:00 PM this afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office was notified that a boat had flipped over on the White River near Buffalo City in the vicinity of Smith Island with at least one person still in the water. Sheriff’s Deputies and Fire Department First Responders were dispatched, and boats were launched by both the rescue services and private persons in a rescue effort. The Sheriff’s Office helicopter was also launched.
One of the occupants of the boat managed to reach the shoreline and survived. He is identified as 74 year old DAVID HOPPER of Mountain View. He was found near Smith Island by another boater and then taken to the White-Buffalo Resort where emergency services were called. The second occupant did not survive. He was last seen trying to swim to the Marion County side of the river. There were four generators in operation at the Bull Shoals Dam at the time. At approximately 1:48 PM, the body of second man was spotted underneath the rolling water and moving downstream. At approximately 2:39 PM, personnel from the Norfork Fire Department rescue boat were able to reach the man and pull the body out of the water approximately 1 ¼ miles downstream from Smith Island. The body of the deceased was carried to the shore near Cartney Landing and delivered into the possession of the County Coroner.
The deceased is identified as 47 year old JOHN V. WEBB of Mountain View.
Agencies involved in the rescue and recovery efforts were the Sheriff’s Office, Norfork Volunteer Fire Department, and Buford Volunteer Fire Department. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is the agency that will be investigating the boating incident.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff