Boater dies after sinkhole creates whirlpool on Arkansas river

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The commission said a fatal boating accident was reported there Saturday when 64-year-old Donald "Donny" Wright was trying to help two others who had gotten too close to the whirlpool, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Boaters are being warned to avoid a portion of a north Arkansas river where a sinkhole has developed, creating a whirlpool that has claimed at least one life. Wright's kayak capsized when he attempted to help a canoe that had also been caught in the whirlpool.

The river is still open, but officials ask people not to breach the barricaded area.

AGFC issued a warning Monday for boaters on the Spring River to avoid an area known as Sadler Falls near Dead Man's Curve, about 150 miles 150 northeast of Little Rock.

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".

The Game and Fish Commission, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Fulton County authorities, have reportedly installed buoys and roped off the area around the sinkhole.

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