LAKE TRAVIS— Boats sailing on Lake Travis, Texas for a parade in support of President Donald Trump sank after the event began on Saturday, September 5.
As of Sunday, September 6, the event’s Facebook page shows more than 8,000 people marked they would be attending the event.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) responded to 15 distress calls from boaters at the event. The parade began at 12:00 p.m. local time — the first distress call was received at 12:15 p.m., and the last one at 1:53 p.m., according to TCSO. The office received three additional reports of boats taking on water from a local towing company.
According to TCSO, distress calls were varied, including “boats taking on water, stalled engines, capsized boats and boats sinking.”
As of Sunday, September 6, five boats are confirmed to have sunk during the event — three were towed out and two remain submerged, according to TCSO.
The sheriff’s office said that the weather was “calm” in the are at the time of the event.
“When the large number of boats began moving together, the wakes generated large waves in areas where participating boats were dense,” TCSO said.
Most boats that were taking on water, or even fully submerged, were able to be hooked up and towed before they sank to the bottom of the lake, the sheriff’s office said.
TCSO added that its ‘Lake Patrol’ unit was “was fully staffed and operational.” There were also “deputies assigned to assist with traffic control and to respond to emergency calls.”
No injuries or fatalities were reported. TCSO “has found no evidence of foul play associated with any of the incidents.”