Garland County Sheriff’s deputies and divers from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were dragging Lake Ouachita Monday in search of the body of Curtis Peyton Clark, 19, of Helena-West Helena who drowned in a canoe accident March 25.

 

Garland County Sheriff’s deputies and divers from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were dragging Lake Ouachita Monday in search of the body of Curtis Peyton Clark, 19, of Helena-West Helena who drowned in a canoe accident March 25.
 “Our sonar and cameras will continue the search for the body today,” GCSO Lt. James Martin said Monday.
 Ryne Glover, 20, of Clarendon, the only known occupant in the canoe, survived the accident that occurred on Lake Ouachita shortly before 1 p.m. last Thursday, Martin said.
Martin said the GCSO received a 911 call at 12:50 p.m. Thursday that Clark and Glover had paddled their canoe to Brady Mountain to retrieve some items when the canoe capsized on Lake Ouachita.
Approximately 200 yards from shore the board was swamped with water due to high winds and waves,” Martin said. “Both of the people in the boat attempted to swim to shore, but only one made it safely.”
Martin said Glover told deputies that when he turned to check on Clark he was unable to locate Clark and presumed that he had drowned.
The Garland County Sheriff’s Department, volunteer fire department, Army Corps of Engineers and AG&FC were involved in the initial search Thursday.
 Martin said due to the high winds, 2 1/2- to 3-foot waves and the swamping of a Corps of Engineers boat the search was called off until Friday in hopes of better weather conditions.
Martin said the depth of the water; water temperature and underwater timber hampered the search.
 Martin said deputies from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Department along with the AG&FC joined in the search.
Martin said winds gusting to 30 miles per hour swamped rescue boats once again.
“The search equipment cannot be utilized effectively in rough conditions,” Martin said.
 Keith Stephens, AG&FC assistant communications director, said Monday the Lake Ouachita incident was not the first drowning reported on lakes and rivers in Arkansas this year.
   Stephens advised boaters to “always wear a lifejacket and check weather conditions” before attempting to get in a lake or river.