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Looking for a man who got lost on the Buffalo River



Searcy County, Arkansas — A swimmer in trouble was reported at Grinders Ferry, a portion of the river between Marshall and St. Joe, on May 16 by Buffalo National River dispatch.

Fidel Angel Salamanca Saravia, 39, of San Miguel, El Salvador, was wading in the river when he lost his balance and was dragged under by the flood, according to authorities.

He disappeared and never emerged, and his life jacket was missing.

Soon later, National Park Service Rangers showed up to begin a motorized boat search of the region.

Divers from the Searcy County Dive Team and the Searcy County Sheriff’s Office also responded, and they continued to search the waters until dusk.

The National Park Service, the Marshall Fire Department, the North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, the Harrison Fire Department, the Hasty Fire Department, and Mennonite Disaster Services are among the other groups helping in the search efforts.

Officials stated that volunteers are not required at this time and that the search will continue in the upcoming days.

In 2023, this was the first instance of a missing person on the Buffalo River. But a few days earlier, a different occurrence took place in the same place, leading to many hospitalizations and close calls with drowning.

Officials highlighted that in order to be safe, you should make sure that you and your family or friends can do the following skills:

• Be able to independently resurface after unexpectedly going underwater
• Be able to stay afloat or change position
• Be able to swim a distance to get out of the water safely.

Wearing life jackets and constantly supervising kids can also help prevent drownings.

Call the park’s 24-hour dispatch center at 1-888-692-1162 or 911 to report an emergency.


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