Trio rescued after boat sinks on North Fork River

A Kansas woman was hospitalized after the boat she was in sank in the North Fork River Sunday afternoon. Seventy-five-year-old Patricia Fender of Shawnee was transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center after going into a hypothermic state.

According to an incident report from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Baxter County 911 dispatch received a call just before 2 p.m. of a boat tipping over, and its occupants were rescued by a nearby watercraft. A deputy arrived and spoke with a male and female, Sean and Kristen Fender.

Sean Fender, identified as Patricia Fender’s son, stated he was unable to get the motor to engage after running into shallow water. The water reportedly pushed the boat into and under a nearby fallen tree, causing it to take on water.

Mark Case with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Mountain Home said upon investigation, there was no increase in water levels on the river at the time of the accident.  He says the gates were closed at 7 that morning and only the normal flow of water from the generators was occurring at the time of the mishap.

Patricia Fender had been in the water for several minutes. The deputy was advised her face turned blue, and she was having trouble breathing. Patricia Fender went into cardiac arrest, and paramedics had to perform CPR before she was transported to the hospital.

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