HSV Community News, Events, Opinions, People, and Places

Hot Springs Village – Kayak Overturns – Lake DeSoto

One Person Transported to the Hospital; One Person Still Missing

By Cheryl Dowden, January 16, 2022

According to Arkansas 911 News, a person is missing after two kayakers overturned their craft in the icy cold Lake DeSoto waters of Hot Springs Village. This incident occurred about 1:00 p.m. today and many rescuers were called to the scene. One person was transported by LifeNet Ambulance to the hospital.

Searchers continue to look for the second kayaker. Teams of rescuers have searched the surface and are now dragging the lake and using sonar to explore the depths. There were at least five rescue boats on the water and many other rescue vehicles at the scene of the accident this afternoon. More first responders continued to arrive from different areas, including the Town of Piney Fire and Rescue, Arkansas Fish and Game, Guardian Team Divers, Hot Springs Fire Department, and Fire Marshall, and Rescue 11, in order to assist Hot Springs Village Fire Department in the search.

Much appreciation to First Responders of Hot Springs Village and other areas. You are the best!

We will be updating this article as new information comes in.

Edited to add the following press release on January 17, 2022, at 8:30 a.m.

Press Release 

Ricky Middleton, Chief of Police, Hot Springs Village Police Department announced On 1-16-2022 at approximately 12:51 p.m., officers were dispatched to 102 Alba Lane in reference to two individuals that capsized their kayaks on Lake DeSoto. Upon the officer’s arrival, two local residents, one in a kayak and one in a larger boat were assisting a female (Olivia Sheffler) to the shore. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The second individual, still missing is Andrew Maestas, 22 years of age from Clarksville, TN. 

Hot Springs Village Fire Department, Garland County Sheriff’s Office, Piney Fire Department, Jessieville Fire Department, and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission responded to assist in the search and rescue efforts. 

As we continue our search for Andrew, may our prayers be with the family.

Edited to add the following photographs on January 17, 2022 at 9:23 a.m.

Olivia Sheffler and Andrew Maestas  Kayak Overturns Lake DeSoto Hot Springs Village
Olivia Sheffler and Andrew Maestas

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First Responders Searching Lake DeSoto for Missing Kayaker

Updated Photos Scuba Dive Team 01-17-2022

2:30 PM


HSV Police Chief Middleton – Body of Missing Kayaker Found

Ricky Middleton, Chief of Police, Hot Springs Village Police Department announced on 1-18-2022 at approximately 11:30 a.m., the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officers and the Hot Springs Fire Department dive team recovered the body of the missing kayaker (Andrew Maestas) from Lake DeSoto in Hot Springs Village. Garland County Coroner was called to the scene.

This was a very unfortunate accident. Our prayers go out to the families involved.

Thanks to all the responding agencies that assisted in our rescue and recovery efforts.


Photography by Joseph Michael Dowden

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