Accident Database

Report ID# 8321

  • Pinned in Boat Against Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • Failed Rescue
  • High Water

Accident Description

Stacy Langford; 47,5/1/17; 3 boat trip on Allen Fork of the Seline River in Arkansas "below the Lake Winona spillway". Very high water. Pole like tree across the river, Stacy flipped and broached with his cockpit against the tree in deep, swift current. He could not release his sprayskirt and was trapped.  Friends held his head above water for over an hour before he was pulled under water. Notified USFS; rescuers freed his body the next day. (James Robinson)
Our Friend Stacy

Kayaker's body recovered from Arkansas river

May 1, 2017
By Maggie McNeary

Rescue workers recovered the body of a kayaker Monday morning from an Arkansas river.


Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens said three people were attempting to kayak down the Saline River in Saline County on Sunday afternoon when one “capsized in flooded timber and became pinned between his kayak and a tree” above Lamar Porter Lodge. His friends tried to free him, then called 911, Stephens said.

A Saline County sheriff’s office news release said high water made it "impossible" for the others to help their friend. The release said it took firefighters, Grant County Swift Water Rescue, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas State Police “several hours” to rescue the two kayakers who tried to help their friend.
Personnel from multiple agencies stayed overnight near Lake Winona, which connects to the river, but “were unable to safely reach the location where the kayaker was last seen,” due to water moving quickly, the release said. The third kayaker's body was recovered Monday morning. The kayaker was a 47-year-old man and an experienced boater, according to Salem Fire Chief Gil Carpenter.
Saline County Deputy Director of Emergency Management Austen Walls said that the boating accident was “somewhat caused” by floods brought on by the weekend’s storms. Stephens said the trio started boating below the Lake Winona spillway.“Water was running over the spillway at a high rate and the current in the river was extremely swift,” he said.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will continue investigating the accident, Walls said.
None of the kayakers’ names were released.

*CORRECTION: The kayaker's body was recovered from the Saline River. An earlier version of this story misidentified where he was found



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