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Arkansas officials urge boating safety following drownings

Two young children were found in Lake Ouachita after going on a boating trip with their father who is still missing. Now, a Camden teen is also missing.

CAMDEN, Ark — Last Wednesday, two young children were found dead in Lake Ouachita after going on a boating trip with their father who is still missing.

Then this week, a Camden teen drowned and two days later their body was found.

With the two incidents happening in consecutive weeks, officials are now urging those in the state to exercise caution when on the water as summer approaches.

RELATED: Bodies of two children found on Lake Ouachita after boating accident

"There were several individuals, juveniles who were enjoying their Sunday afternoon and there were no safety life jackets or flotation devices," said Dana Wetherbee with the Camden Police Department.

She said not only is it the first drowning of the year for the city, but also the first in several years for any located incidents. 

Camden police are refraining from releasing additional information out of respect for the teen's family. 

According to Wetherbee, it was an all hands-on-deck mentality as different agencies, including the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have worked to search for the teen.

Capt. Stephanie Weatherington, Boating Law Administrator for AGFC, said that people should be aware of all aspects when it comes to boating.

While life jackets are essential, Weatherington is urging people to be mindful of water and boating conditions beyond life jackets. 

"Especially this time of the year. The Spring. Storms can come up very very quickly on bodies of water and rising water. Make sure you check the weather forecast in advance," said Weatherington. 

That's something that authorities are reminding people of too. Weatherbee said people should also be mindful of currents when out on the water.

"If it's flooded, please stay out," said Wetherbee.

Once the weather is clearer, Camden police said they're inviting volunteers to come out and help aid in the search. 


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