Three Students Drown in Arkansas River After Noodling Accident - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Three Students Drown in Arkansas River After Noodling Accident

Posted: Updated:
Three men swept away in Arkansas River Three men swept away in Arkansas River
Searchers head back out on the water around 3:15 p.m. Searchers head back out on the water around 3:15 p.m.

Update, 5:51 p.m.:

The third body was recovered by crews near 31st and Riverside. He was identified as Eric Harris, 27, of Tulsa.

Update, 4:40 p.m.:

The second body has been identified as 20-year-old Connor Norvell of Colorado.

Update, 3:40 p.m.:

Second body has been recovered. No word on identity yet.

Update, 3:15 p.m.:

Crews have taken boats out to search the water.

Update, 2:34 p.m.:

Tulsa firefighters had a brief meeting not too long ago and plan on assessing water levels around 3 p.m. If the water is at a safe level, diving crews will attempt to recover the bodies of Norvell and Harris.

"They were trying to help their friend, but most of the time in these situations we have more rescuers get killed and injured than we do the actual victims themselves," said Stan May with the Tulsa Fire Department.

A fellow student and friend who was noodling with the three drowning victims was at the scene this afternoon.

"Just, I don't know. Kinda mad, sad," said Bryan Tillman. "I really don't know. I just hope they find them."

Update, 11:45 a.m.:

Authorities released the identities of the three men swept away in the Arkansas river by strong currents early Thursday morning.

23-year-old Troy George, from Louisiana, was recovered around 7:30 a.m.

Crews are still searching for Connor Norvell, 20, of Colorado and Eric Harris, 27, of Tulsa.

A friend on scene confirmed the three were students at Tulsa Welding School.

Officials believe it will be closer to 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. before the water is low enough for emergency responders to continue recovery efforts.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers have arrived on scene to assist Tulsa Fire and Tulsa Police crews.

Update, 10:20 a.m.:

Officials on scene have confirmed the first victim discovered was a 23-year-old male on the east side of the river.

The family has been notified and no names have been released, said Stan May, spokesman for the Tulsa Fire Dept.

Crews expect water levels to lower around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to continue recovery efforts for the two missing men.

Update, 9 a.m.:

Crews have shut down the Keystone Dam to lower water levels and allow searchers to continue recovery efforts.

Original story:

Officials have located one body and continue the search on land, in the water and from the air for two other men who fell into the Arkansas River early Thursday morning.

One body was located around 7:30 a.m. on the east side of the river near 33rd St.

Tulsa Fire confirmed that the group of seven teenaged males were noodling shortly after 5 a.m. when one of the kids walked along the spillway near 31st and Riverside, slipped and fell.

Two friends went in after him and were swept away by the current.

Authorities have not released the names of anyone involved at this point.

Crews have a water rescue team in the river and Tulsa Police have a helicopter doing aerial searches from above.

KTUL has a crew on scene and will bring you the latest developments.

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