HARDY, Ark. – Many people go out on the lake or on the river around this time of year, but it’s important to take precautions as we’ve seen the dangers of changing river conditions in Sharp County.
We’ve seen many drowning incidents here at the Spring River in the past two months with the most recent being on Saturday. Officials in Hardy say they’ve seen some safety measures being broken.
“I feel strongly that a vest could’ve possibly prevented their deaths,” said Scott Rose from the Hardy Department of Public Safety.
The Spring River is usually popular around this time of year, but officials say it’s even busier than usual right now.
The Hardy Police Department and the River Wilderness are together in part that the consensus is not only the dangerous parts to the river, they’ve seen many not take the necessary precautions to stay safe.
“There’s a lot of people that just flat out refuse to look at any kind of safety thing. They’re older. They’ve had a lot of alcohol, whatever, that they don’t need to follow those precautions, and that happens a lot up here,” said Tim Knoblin the Owner of River Wilderness Sports.
Rose adds the two biggest concerns he sees are people being intoxicated and not wearing a life jacket on the river.
“A lot of them seem to go too far. We have issues on a regular basis where over-intoxicated to a dangerous level that we have to deal with. We’ve had to help people out of the water that [were] near-misses,” said Rose.
Rose complicated Hardy Water and Rescue as well as Arkansas Game and Fish among others for their rescue efforts, but he said that people need to be sure to take the necessary measures, such as wearing a life jacket and limiting alcohol intake to keep everyone safe and help prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.