A Baxter County man, 74-year-old ROBERT JAY LOUCK, died yesterday afternoon, June 20th, from injuries sustained in a boating accident at the Cranfield Marina on Lake Norfork.
At approximately 3:14 PM, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by the 9-1-1 call center of a man yelling for help with injuries at the Cranfield Marina. Emergency medical personnel had already been dispatched, and deputies began to respond as well. The man was located at Dock 4. The man’s pontoon boat had extensive damage to the front, side, and the interior. It appeared he had been involved in a boating accident. Life saving measures were initiated by EMS personnel.
At approximately 4:03 PM, the Sheriff’s Office was notified that a second person may have potentially been involved in the boating accident as well and may be missing. This information was based upon reviewing video surveillance from the Cranfield Marina that showed the boat leaving the marina earlier in the day with two persons on board, but returning with just one. The Sheriff’s Office helicopter and other assets were deployed to initiate a search.
A brief search was conducted to try and determine if a second person was in the water somewhere in the general area. It was later learned that the second person had previously been dropped off elsewhere and was safe. The search was then discontinued.
A further review of video surveillance footage indicated that the victim and his damaged boat returned to the area of Cranfield Marina around 2:30 PM. It was seen to be slowly circling near the marina for about 30 minutes, then arrived at Dock 4 where the boat struck another boat parked in a stall.
Emergency medical procedures on scene were ineffective, and the victim was pronounced deceased by the County Coroner.
The boating accident itself is being investigated by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Officers. Agencies involved in responding to the incident were the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U. S. Army Corp of Engineers Park Rangers, Arkansas State Police, Northeast-Lakeside Fire Department, Baxter Health ambulance service, and Air Evac Air Ambulance Service.