Beaver Lake Deaths On Pace For Most In History

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BENTON COUNTY– A tragic accident, this weekend, as one man struck by lightning dies on Beaver Lake. This is the fourth death on the lake, this year.

The upcoming Fourth of July holiday is expected to be the busiest weekend on Beaver Lake, this year, yet four people have already died.

“He had really took a big hit of lightning. They brought him right here where we’re standing and did CPR on him, got all the medics here,” Park Ranger, Alan Bland, said.

Connor Clayman, 22-year-old of Springfield, Missouri, and his wife celebrating their one year anniversary at Beaver Lake, this weekend. Their friend taking them on a guided fishing tour, when the weather took a turn and lightning struck the boat.

“We think it hit a rod and reel that was sticking up, which would be kind of a lightning rod in a way. It had hit it and it kind of melted the seat and all the plastic next to it right next to where the guy was sitting, right next to it,” Bland said.

Park Ranger, Alan Bland, says Clayman died en route to the hospital.

Born and raised in Northwest Arkansas and frequent visitor of Beaver Lake, Julia Madison, says she’s shocked at the tragic start this year.

“It’s bad, I couldn’t believe it. If you think you’re going in the water, be smart about it. If you’re going to be near it be smart,” Madison said.

Bland says in the lakes history only three deaths were not drownings; two of them happening this year with the lightning strike and a teenager killed, last week, on a jet ski.

“Out of our 120 drownings on Beaver Lake, we have yet to have someone drown wearing a life jacket,” Bland said.

Bland says loaner life jacket stations are set up to help prevent future drownings.

Bland says the average drowning victim is a male between the ages of 18 and 35, a good swimmer and a frequent visitor of Beaver Lake.

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