By Randy Mitchell
LAKE EUFAULA — It was a deadly weekend on Oklahoma lakes, according to authorities.
On Sunday, 59-year-old Larry Rollins of Eufaula died after he jumped off a cliff at 6:54 p.m. at Eagle Bluff on Lake Eufaula.
“The victim jumped off of a cliff, went under water, resurfaced for a second and went back under,” said Scott Lee, Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper. “He did not resurface again. At approximately 7:54 p.m. the victim was located using a drag bar.”
The fatality came just three days after a similar one that occurred on Lake Tenkiller in Cherokee County Thursday. OHP Trooper Ben Chapman said 25-year-old Russell Banister of Sallisaw jumped from a rock bluff into the lake and never resurfaced.
“A witness at the scene advised (Banister) had been drinking prior to jumping off the bluff,” Chapman said.
After two hours, the search for a body was postponed to Friday.
“On (Friday) at approximately 3 p.m., victim was recovered by use of a drag bar 40 feet off the bluff that he jumped from in approximately 50 feet of water,” Chapman said.
Another diving incident left a Weatherford man in serious condition over the weekend. The incident occurred on Lake Texoma in Marshall County Saturday at 5:16 p.m. OHP Trooper Gregory Williams said 27-year-old Blain Smylie dove from a boat.
“The victim dove off the rear of the vessel head first into two feet of water, striking his head and causing a spinal injury,” Williams said.
Smylie was taken by Air-Evac to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City and admitted in serious condition. Another weekend injury incident occurred on Oolaogah Lake in Rogers County Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
A passenger on a 16-foot pleasure boat, Sean M. Ballandby, 44, Cleveland, Okla., was hospitalized after he fell from a boat.
“Vessel was on the move, (Ballandby) stood up, lost his balance and fell, hit his head, then fell overboard,” said OHP Trooper Gena Gillis.
Gillis said the driver of the boat turned around and others on board pulled Ballandby into the boat and drove him to a marina.
He was taken to Claremore Regional Hospital where he was treated and released for head injuries, Gillis said.