Sheriff: Five boats sank in Texas Trump parade, no injuries

Politics

Boaters flying flags honoring U.S. President Donald Trump crowd Lake Travis in Lakeway, Texas, during a boat parade Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, that attracted hundreds of watercraft of all sizes. Although this boat did not capsize, a spokesperson for the Travis County sheriff’s office in Texas said “several” boats sank Saturday while taking part in the parade in support of Trump. There were no reports of fatalities or injuries. (Bob Daemmrich via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Five boats sank in a Texas lake during a nautical parade in support of President Donald Trump as tightly packed boats created large waves, officials said Sunday.

Boaters began calling for help “almost immediately” after the procession for Trump’s reelection got underway on a lake west of Austin on Saturday, according to Kristen Dark of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies ultimately responded to 15 distress calls and received three other reports of boats taking on water. No one was injured or killed.

Images of the event show the water of Lake Travis choppy with the wakes of dozens of boats flying American, Texas and “Trump 2020” flags.

Dark said that weather on the roughly 19,000-acre (7,690-hectare) lake was calm, but that the tightly packed boats created large waves in areas. Deputies have found no evidence of foul play, she said.

The first call for help came at 12:15 p.m., and later distress calls were for boats taking on water, stalled engines and capsizing, Dark said.

Three of the boats that sank were towed to shore, while the other two were still at the bottom of the lake, she said.

Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services received no calls for service related to the parade, a spokeswoman said.

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