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Local man loses life at Lake Buffalo

The body of Russell Shawver, 51, was found in just a few inches of water in Lake Buffalo about 20-feet from shore, just before 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said according to Shawver’s wife, he had gone on an overnight fishing trip to the lake, since the weather was nice.
Shawver was dressed in layers including a sweatshirt, heavy coat, a life jacket and boots.

According to Duke, he apparently was checking his jug-lines (similar to trotlines) when the small one-seat v-bottom boat he was in capsized. Duke said it appeared Shawver was attempting to make it back to shore, pulling the boat with a rope, but was unable to make it the final distance to shore.

Duke said they suspect hyperthermia, which could have caused other health issues, may have been the cause of death. Shawver’s body was sent to Tarrant County for an autopsy.

According to Duke, Shawver was found by another fisherman who arrived at the lake Tuesday morning and noticed an object at a distance in the lake, and figured it was an old boat that the low levels revealed. However, after a closer look around the overturned boat he found Shawver’s body and called for help.

Iowa Park Volunteer Fire Department, Wichita County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Game Wardens and Iowa Park Police responded.

Shawver was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Marc Newman.

“There is no sign or foul play and nothing out of the ordinary, just a tragic accident,” said Duke. “Condolences go to the family from The Sheriff’s Office.”