(Photo: National Park Service)
ERBIE, Ark. (KTHV) - Authorities have identified the man who died while bluff-diving in the Buffalo River. Caven Clark with the National Park Service said the body of 27 year old Stephen A. Carney of Austin TX was found about 4 p.m. Sunday.
Clark said Carney and several friends were floating the river and stopped to jump from the bluff. Witnesses said Carney took about a fifteen foot run towards the edge of the bluff and did a somersault, landing on his face and frontal area.
The Buffalo River was running high and was extremely murky at the time of the accident.
Responders included the Newton County Search and Rescue team, Newton County Sheriff's Office, Tri-County Search and Rescue, the Mennonite Disaster Service Search and Rescue Team, Harrison Swift Water Rescue, and Buffalo National River Search and Rescue.
Beginning Friday afternoon numerous boats, including two with side-scanning sonar, were deployed in and below the accident area. Heavy rain on Friday night-Saturday morning raised the Buffalo to flood stage and brought a large amount of woody debris that hampered search efforts. By Sunday the river had receded three feet and was becoming more clear, making the use of a boat-mounted fish eye camera possible.
Carney's body was located approximately 844 feet downstream from the point where he was last seen diving into the water. The Mennonite team located the remains using a side-scanning sonar and the actual recovery was made by Harrison Swift Water Rescue.
(Source: National Park Service)