LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A man was lost Tuesday while wading in the Buffalo National River north of Harrison, according to the National Park Service.
NPS officials said 39-year-old Fidel Angel Salamanca Saravia from San Miguel, El Salvador, was lost at Grinders Ferry, a site on the river 10 miles north of Harrison. Officials said Saravia had waded into the water and lost his footing, then was swept under by the current and did not resurface.
Saravia was not wearing a life jacket, NPS representatives said.
Officials said the dispatch center received a call about the incident at 4:15 p.m. and rangers were on the scene by 4:40 p.m., searching the area via motorized boats. Searcy County sheriff’s deputies and dive team also responded.
The search continued until dark and will continue in the coming days. Volunteers are not needed NPS representatives said.
The agency also acknowledged the help from the Marshall and Harrison fire departments, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center and Mennonite Disaster Services and other area organizations.
According to NPS representatives, this is the first person lost on the Buffalo River in 2023, although a similar incident at Grinders Ferry occurred a few days earlier. In that incident, multiple people were near drowning and required hospitalization, they said.
The NPS reminds everyone of the importance of wearing life jackets, supervising children, and being familiar and competent in natural environments. Competence is being able to independently resurface, stay afloat and swim, representatives said.