The drowning of a Searcy man last week is the first such reported incident this year on Greers Ferry Lake

A Searcy man drowned at Sandy Beach in Heber Springs last Wednesday, the first reported drowning on Greers Ferry Lake this year. 


According to official reports, the police department received a phone call around 3:19 that afternoon of a possible drowning at the beach.  Emergency services were notified.  Officer Josh Haley of Heber PD and Heber Fire Chief Linc Cothren were first on the scene retrieved the body of Ryan Christopher Stanford, 32, of Searcy from the bottom of the lake. 


Eyewitnesses at the scene reported seeing Stanford swim past the swim safety barrier to the “no boats” buoy positioned further out in the lake.  One eyewitness claimed he observed Stanford make it to the buoy, where he stayed for a few minutes.  A few moments later, multiple eyewitnesses reported hearing a woman scream for help and emergency services were called.


Members of the Army Corps of Engineers were on the scene, as well as EMS services and the Heber Springs Police Department.  Stanford’s body was taken to Baptist Medical Center in Heber Springs, where he was pronounced dead.