Authorities Search For Drowning Victim In The Arkansas River
Thursday, May 11th 2006, 4:27 PM CDT
Rescue personnel spent Thursday afternoon and evening looking for a man who drowned in the Arkansas River near Coweta in Wagoner County.
News on 6 anchor Craig Day says with boats and emergency personnel from several different agencies, the searched in vain for 24-year-old David Perryman.
Three friends floated about a half mile down the Arkansas River near Coweta when suddenly, Perryman went under. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Jim West: "Mr. Perryman got into trouble and asked for help. But before either of the individuals could get to him, he went under and they couldn't find him.â€
The two other men made it safely to the river's edge and called for help.
As crews dragged the river, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol plane and even SkyNews 6 searched for Perryman but couldn't find him.
Just a few weeks ago, this stretch of the Arkansas River was shallow and sandy in many places. That was before several days of heavy rain. The river might look safe, but there's a strong current and conditions are treacherous.
Law enforcement officers say there are many underwater hazards that can create problems. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Jim West: "The Arkansas is one of those old rivers which, when the water gets up, the current gets pretty heavy. Also the way the sand is, on the bottom of it, we get a lot of undertows and things of this nature, so it makes it quite hazardous for people to get in the water."
The search will resume Friday. Authorities say it will last from daylight to dark, until the body is found.