Illinois River Drowning

Westville, OK – Ark. businessman drowns in Oklahoma river

WESTVILLE, Okla. (AP) The Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission says a Siloam Springs, Ark., businessman has drowned in the Illinois River after trying to rescue his fiancee.

The commission said in a news release that 53-year-old Noel White was at an Adair County campground with fiancee Donna Drayden and others just before 6 p.m. Tuesday when he noticed Drayden was struggling to swim back to shore. Officials say once Drayden made it safely out of the water, she turned around and could no longer see White.

Divers looked for White for several hours before it got dark, then resumed their search early Wednesday. White was discovered in about 20 feet of water some 30 yards downstream from where he entered the river.

White's body was transported the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.