Multiple boats were reported to be sinking or issuing distress calls during a Trump boat parade at Lake Travis in Austin, Texas on Saturday, September 5. Thousands of people were expected to participate in the event today. (Note that the boat pictured above is from a previous Trump boat parade and not from the Austin, Texas boat parade.)
Here’s what you need to know, including screenshots from the Citizen App and photos of some of the boats sinking.
Multiple Boats Issued Distress Calls During the Trump Boat Parade & Needed Emergency Help
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed with CBS Austin that distress calls were made by boats along the parade route, including Paradise Cove, Emerald Point, and West Beach. Multiple boats were reported to be sinking during the parade.
My marine radio is blowing up at my house. Lots of boats sinking at the Trump parade on Lake Travis right now.
— Armando C // (@armandocajide) September 5, 2020
According to the Citizen App, some fire departments were released from the scene by 1:30 p.m. as the parade began to thin out.
Some reports on social media are claiming that all the boats in the parade were sinking, but this was not accurate.
Citizen App updates reported that there were no injuries, but some boats wouldn’t slow down and the parade conditions were described as “rough.” EMS reports shared by Citizen App indicated that some boats weren’t following safety measures and multiple boats were sinking. Local officials, however, have not yet confirmed the cause of the boats’ sinking. The reports are going viral on social media.
A bunch of boats at the Trump boat parade at Lake Travis are sinking because they refused to slow down or follow the boating rules. I’m cackling pic.twitter.com/FbG0MqB9zf
— Kady Rain (@kadyrain) September 5, 2020
Heavy confirmed the Citizen App reports were authentic. You can see some reports below. As of the time of this article’s publication, Citizen App was reporting that the boat crowd was thinning out and some emergency responders were being released from the scene. Here are screenshots from the Citizen App from the beginning of the incidents. (Chronologically, read each screen from the bottom to the top. The screenshots are then in chronological order.)
The EMS notes on the app included a notification about a sinking pontoon boat with eight to 10 occupants, boats refusing to slow down, and other boats swamped with water.
Some boats had to be towed to shore and multiple people needed rescuing, according to EMS reports from Citizen App.
The boat parade was scheduled to last from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, and was also going to feature parachute jumpers with smoke and flags, according to the event page.
Here’s a photo shared on Twitter of a sinking boat.
— Armando C // (@armandocajide) September 5, 2020
And here’s another photo of a sinking boat.
— bobphoto (@bobphoto) September 5, 2020
The app also noted an unidentified helicopter or gyrocopter flying about 200 feet above the river. Firefighters used unmanned aerial vehicles to help survey the river, the app noted.
Thousands Had RSVP’d on Facebook About Attending the Parade
About 8,400 people responded to the Facebook event page, noting that they were either interested or attending.
Here’s a video of the parade showing how large and expansive it is. This was taken before the distress calls were reported.
Lake Travis Trump Boat Parade: just working class Americans in $300k boats and with four helicopters…
Taken from my balcony pic.twitter.com/jfEQ4jpGgJ
— Brandy (@votecumby) September 5, 2020
Here’s another video showing boats participating before the distress calls.
Everything really is bigger in Texas! Take a look at the hundreds of boats gathered on Lake Travis right now for a boat parade honoring President @realDonaldTrump! Senate District 24 supports our President! #TrumpBoatParade #txlege pic.twitter.com/zvZHT8EjtO
— Dawn Buckingham (@DrBuckinghamTX) September 5, 2020
This video also shows just how many people were participating in the parade.
Lake Travis Trump boat parade…. pic.twitter.com/dPmxooX30p
— BlackJack! (@champagneprobLG) September 5, 2020
A note that this video being passed around appears to be related to a Portland incident a few weeks ago and not the Austin boat sinking:
This video was taken in Portland a few weeks ago and is unrelated to the boats sinking in Texas today https://t.co/tCGUULKjVp
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 5, 2020
The Facebook event page described the boat parade this way:
Welcome to the Lake Travis Trump Boat Parade! Boats of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to participate. Decorate your boats in patriotic colors and fly as many Trump flags as she can handle. Let’s really make a statement!
At noon on the day of the parade, 4 parachute jumpers will be jumping out of a helicopter with smoke and flags flying! They will be on the south side of the lake between Starns Island and Emerald Point. Two of which are military veterans and one is an amputee. Thank you for your service to our country and for volunteering for this event! We honor you! 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲
Line up in this area around 11:30. After the parachuters land, Flagship boats will come through with flashing lights. This is the indicator to start lining up. The parade will head west, turn around at Point Venture and end back at Emerald Point. At about 10 mph, we should be return between 1:30 and 2:00. For safety reasons, we do request that slower vessels remain in the back of the line up. Flagship Towing will have 5 boats cruising with us and will monitor VHF chanel 21 for communication and vessel assist.
Please note, this is Labor Day weekend. 2 pm return will give everyone time to play on the lake and participate in evening hour concerts, gatherings and activities.