Authorities have identified a man who drowned yesterday in Beaver Lake in Washington County as Michael Lee Bonds of Eureka Springs.
According to the Washington County Sheriff's Department, Bonds developed a cramp while swimming near the Hwy 412 bridge in Springdale and disappeared beneath the surface before his friends could swim to their pontoon boat and return to help him.
Officials said alcohol was not a factor.
Bonds, 34, became director of the Building Trades program for the Eureka Springs School District in 2008 and was a popular instructor.
District Superintendent Curtis Turner described himself at a loss for words. "My thoughts go out to the family," he said. "In the morning I will be getting with our school counselors and we will collectively work out a counseling situation for any students who might need it following this tragedy."
Watch www.LovelyCitizen.com for updates on this developing story, and read this week's print edition of The Citizen for the full story and a tribute to this Eureka Springa educator. Anyone wanting to contribute comments about the deceased and his impact on their lives, to be used in the Citizen article, should call editor Don Lee at 479-253-0070 or email email@example.com by Tuesday evening.