One person killed in boating accident on Norfork Lake; park rangers give boat safety tips

NORFORK LAKE, Ark . - Campers said Sunday was a typical day on the Norfork Lake, until they heard the ambulance sirens.​

Debbie Guemmer, from De Soto, Mo., said, "There were like two more ambulances, and then rangers, and then a state trooper, and so we kind of figured it was something much bigger than just one person down there.”

Local and state agencies responding to Lake Norfork around noon on Sunday after sheriff's officials said a boat capsized.

“We went out on the lake and we actually saw the boat where it had hit the ground and it was turned upside down," Guemmer said.

Carolyn Davis. 71, of Maryland Heights, Mo., was killed, and her husband and two others were injured and taken to hospitals.

Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they can't comment on the accident since it is still under investigation, they shared some tips on boat safety when out on the lake.

Roger Howell, a natural resources specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said, “We stress that people wear their life jackets first and foremost. After that when it comes to boating: safety first. Know your boat and it’s capabilities.”

The park ranger also said it's important for people to know their own physical capabilities as well.

"What they can and can’t do when they’re out there on the water and that they just become more familiar with their safety equipment," Howell said.

Also do not drink and drive a boat, and always check the forecast before going out on the water.

Campers said they are thinking about the family involved in this recent accident and praying for them.

Guemmer said, “And your heart goes out to people when things like that happen. They’re here to have a good time and vacation and some tragedy. That’s just hard.”

The cause of the accident is being investigated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.