Drownings At The Buffalo River On the afternoon of July 12, 2015
Buffalo National River was contacted by Newton County 911 concerning a possible drowning at the confluence of Well's Creek and Buffalo River. Rescue and medical personnel were dispatch to the area where they located the victim, Gary McClung III age 23. Mr. McClung and his wife had been swimming in the area when he decided to jump from a 15 foot bluff into the river. Mr. McClung's wife heard her husband enter the water but did not see him jump as she was traversing the trail from the bluff to the gravel bar. She lost sight of Mr. McClung for a very short period of time but when she saw him again he was floating downstream face down. She was able to wade into the water and pull him to shore where she began doing CPR.
Very soon after she had begun, floaters rounded the bend, recognized the distress and quickly came to her aid. CPR was continued for some time but was unsuccessful and Mr. McClung was later pronounced dead at the scene. First on scene was Air Evac helicopter which was able to land on the gravel bar. At this time CPR had been suspended after approximately 30 minutes of continuous cycles which were unsuccessful. Gary McClung III was a member of the Western Grove Volunteer Fire Department and leaves behind a wife and baby. Personnel from Buffalo National River Search and Rescue team, Newton County Sheriff's Office, Hasty Volunteer Fire Department, Tri-County Search and Rescue, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center EMS, Air Evac Lifeteam, Newton County Coroner's Office and the Boone County Coroner's Office assisted.