River sinkhole site of boating fatality in north Arkansas

At least one boater died Saturday after a sinkhole opened on the bed of Spring River in northern Arkansas creating a whirlpool according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Whirlpool created by sinkhole in river leads to deadly boating incident

At least one boater has died after a sinkhole developed on the bed of a north Arkansas river, creating a whirlpool. Though the details remain unclear, Reid said witnesses reported that when the sinkhole opened and formed the whirlpool, boaters were ejected from their boats. Wright's kayak capsized when he attempted to help a canoe that had also been caught in the whirlpool.

Donald Wright, 64, was on the Spring River Saturday when the sinkhole opened.

"The river is still open, but the barricaded area should not be breached", AGFC officials said, according to Fox 25 Boston.

In a Sunday news release, the agency urged anyone floating the river to avoid the area near Sadler Falls in Fulton County.

Experts say sinkholes are common in north Arkansas because of the nature of the local bedrock-and when they happen underwater, they can create risky whirlpools.

Reid, from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said that in such cases when the riverbed breaks away, the water must go somewhere and, in the process, creates a current "like a bathtub drain".

Engineers will be on site this week to assess the area and look for a solution.

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