From: KTLO/National Park Service
Rangers from the Buffalo National River responded to a trio of medical emergencies over the weekend on the water, including a fatality involving a Overland Park, Kansas, man.
In a news release about the busy weekend, officials identified the deceased man as 61-year-old Charles R. Harman, who died of a possible cardiac event Saturday.
Harman was in a canoe with his son when the vessel capsized in the Margaret White area of the river, with the man found unresponsive in the water. Family members and bystanders moved Harman to land, where they began CPR procedures. Rangers were arrived via boat 40 minutes later, attempted to revive the man with an automatic electric defibrillator and more cycles of CPR, officials say.
Harman was pronounced dead after being examined by an ambulance crew at a river access point. A county coroner ruled the probably cause of death was an cardiac event, the release says.
Earlier Saturday, an unidentified man suffered a broken hip and had to be extricated from from the Hemmed-in-Hollow trail. Shortly before 1 p.m., rangers and search-and-rescue volunteers hiked to the visitor’s location, evaluated the injury and transported the man to the river. The 51-year-old was floated downstream via a canoe to the Kyles Landing access, where he was transferred via ambulance to a landing zone and airlifted by a helicopter to an unnamed medical facility. The rescue effort concluded at approximately 6:30 p.m.
During the same time frame Saturday, a 44-year-old Sherwood man experienced a medical emergency while floating the river. He was able to exit the river at the Shine Eye access, where rangers provided medical support. An medevac helicopter was able to land on a gravel bar to transport the man for treatment at Baxter Regional Medical Center at approximately 1:45.
Park rangers urge visitors to self-assess and take proper safety precautions, such as wearing a life jacket, while recreating at Buffalo National River. There are inherent risks involved in recreating at a wild river, even when conditions seem optimal. To report an emergency, please dial 911 or call Buffalo National River’s 24-hour dispatch center at 888-692-1162.
The National Park Service expresses thanks to the visitors, responders and many cooperating agencies who helped render aid this past busy weekend.