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June 8, 2021

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officers happened to be in the right place at the right time last Friday when they rescued two people from a quick current in the Buffalo National River.

Officers were involved in swift-water rescue training near Shine Eye Campground in Searcy County when they saw a young boy struggling in the water. A man fishing nearby attempted to rescue the youngster but was pulled away from the bank and into the current.

The angler was able to grab the struggling boy as they fought to keep their heads above water. Wildlife Officer Kent Slape ran into the river and tossed a throw bag to the man, who grabbed the line. As Slape was anchoring himself, the gravel bar gave way and he was swept into the water. Wildlife Officer Eric Rawls grabbed Slape and both officers swam into an eddy to reach the boy and the man.

Wildlife officers Cody Stone, Cody Standifer and Clint Park swam to the struggling pair and kept both afloat. Wildlife Officer Caleb McClanahan aided by throwing another line as the officers pulled everyone to the river bank. No injuries were reported; no medical attention was required.