The body of Fidel Angel Salamanca Saravia, a 39-year-old male from San Miguel, El Salvador, was found in the Buffalo National River around 11 a.m. Thursday morning, May 18. He was reported missing to authorities Tuesday afternoon, according to a report from the National Park Service. The body was discovered near Shine Eye landing, just downstream from the area where the search began. The search included both above water and underwater operations.
“Buffalo National River staff are saddened by this loss,” stated acting Superintendent Jesse Morris. “We extend our condolences to his family and friends.”
The National Park Service would like to express its thanks to the many groups and agencies for their assistance during this incident, the statement said. This includes the National Park Service, Searcy County Sheriff's Office, Searcy County Dive Team, Search County Office of Emergency Management, Newton County Sheriff's Office, Marion County Search and Rescue, Mennonite Disaster Service, Harrison Fire Department, Carrol County Search and Rescue, Boone County Office of Emergency Management, Arkansas Game and Fish commission Dive Team, Hasty Fire Department, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, Marshall Fire Department, and the American Red Cross.
At approximately 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, Buffalo National River dispatch received notification that a swimmer was in distress at Grinders Ferry, a section of the river that is 10 miles north of Marshall. Saravia had waded into the river, lost his footing, and was swept under water by the river’s current, never resurfacing. He was not wearing a life jacket. At approximately 4:40 p.m., National Park Service Rangers arrived on scene and immediately began searching the area via motorized boats. Searcy County Sheriff’s Office and Searcy County Dive Team also responded, and divers searched the water until dark on May 16.