Man drowns in White River after boat motor wouldn’t start

A man from Kansas has drowned in the White River after his boat wouldn’t start. The Baxter County 911 Center received a call Thursday evening at 5:42 of a possible boating accident near Buford Spur with one person in the water. Personnel from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game and Fish, along with fire and medical personnel, responded to begin a search for the victim.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says the victim is identified as 75-year-old Richard Lee Carpenter of Pleasanton, Kansas. The sheriff says the man’s son told authorities they had put the boat in the water at Buford Spur, and his father was going to drive the boat to where they were staying on Cameron Trail. The man was unable to get the motor started because there was rope caught in the prop. He tried to use the trolling motor, but the current was too swift to make any headway. The son said he then saw his father trying to clear the rope from the prop, but then lost sight of him. When he next saw the boat, his father was not in it.

The boat was found just south of Crooked Creek. A rope was still caught up in the motor, and the boat was hung up on a tree limb but did not have any damage. The body of the victim was found in the water about 50 yards from where the boat was stuck. The victim was recovered and taken to Rim Shoals Access area, where EMS were staged, but he was already deceased.

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