National Park Service reports death, multiple medical emergencies over weekend at Buffalo National River

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 2:55 PM CDT
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SEARCY COUNTY, Ark. (KY3) - The National Park Service says one man died and several others were treated for medical emergencies over the weekend at the Buffalo National River.

The National Park Service says Charles R. Harman, 61, of Overland Park, Kansas died Saturday after an apparent cardiac event.

Park rangers responded to Margaret White area of the river around 3 p.m. Saturday after being notified of an unresponsive man.

NPS says, while floating with family members, Harman and his son turned over in their canoe, after which Harman was found unresponsive in the water. He was pronounced dead after life-saving efforts from family members and emergency responders. A coroner determined the probable cause of death was a cardiac event.

Earlier that day, around 12:45 p.m., a 51-year-old man suffered a broken hip on the Hemmed-in-Hollow trail near the river. He was later airlifted to a hospital for medical treatment.

Shortly after that, around 1:45 p.m. Saturday, a 44-year-old man experienced a medical emergency while floating on the river. His group helped him off the river, while park rangers responded to the Shine Eye river access point to provide aid. He was sent to the hospital in unknown condition.

“The National Park Service expresses thanks to the visitors, responders and many cooperating agencies who helped render aid this past busy weekend,” said NPS in a news release Monday.

Park rangers urge visitors to self-assess before strenous activity and take proper safety precautions, such as wearing a life jacket, while recreating at Buffalo National River.

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