Apparent boating accident on White River in Baxter County claims life of Kansas man

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A 75-year-old Kansas man died Thursday in an apparent boating accident on the White River near Buford Spur, according to a release from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities from the sheriff’s office, along with Arkansas Game and Fish officers and fire and rescue personnel were dispatched around 5:40 p.m. on a call of a possible boating accident on the river with one man in the water.

The man’s son told authorities he and his father had put the boat in the water at Buford Spur. The father, identified as Richard Lee Carpenter of Pleasanton, Kan., planned to motor the boat to where the two were staying, nearby on Cameron Trail.  

Carpenter’s son said once the boat was in the water, his father was unable to get the motor started because a rope became entangled in the prop. The son said the father then attempted to use the trolling motor instead, but the current was too swift to make headway.

The son said he saw his father trying to clear the rope from the prop, but then lost sight of him. When he next saw the boat, he said his father was not in it.

Authorities located the boat just south of Crooked Creek, according to the release. A rope was caught in the motor, and the boat was hung upon a tree limb, but officials said it did not appear to be damaged.  

Around 7:15 p.m., rescue personnel with the Norfork Fire Department located the elder Carpenter’s body in the water about 50 yards from where the boat was stuck.  

The body was recovered and taken to the Rim Shoals access area where EMS was on scene, but the victim was deceased, the release said. 

White River Now News Team

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