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Texas Trump boat parade: The wake of other boats caused 5 boats to sink, sheriff's office says

CNN logo CNN 9/7/2020 By Paul P. Murphy, CNN
a man riding on the back of a boat in the water: Boats flying flags honoring President Donald Trump crowd Lake Travis during a boat parade Saturday that attracted hundreds of watercraft of all sizes. Bob Daemmrich for CNN © Courtesy Bob Daemmrich Boats flying flags honoring President Donald Trump crowd Lake Travis during a boat parade Saturday that attracted hundreds of watercraft of all sizes. Bob Daemmrich for CNN

The wake generated by other boats caused five boats to sink on a Texas lake during a parade in support of President Donald Trump, according to the Travis County Sheriff's Office.

The weather on Lake Travis, which is west of Austin, was calm Saturday, but the large number of boats moving together produced large waves, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

"It was like an ocean out there. I'm surprised I survived it. We didn't make it all the way around the parade, because it was just too much," Danielle Severn told CNN affiliate KXAN. "The boats were mainly just teeter-tot-erring. A lot of them took on water by the nose. After that it was over, especially for the smaller boats."

a group of people in a small boat in a body of water: Boats flying flags honoring President Donald Trump crowd Lake Travis during a boat parade Saturday that attracted hundreds of watercraft of all sizes. Bob Daemmrich for CNN © Courtesy Bob Daemmrich Boats flying flags honoring President Donald Trump crowd Lake Travis during a boat parade Saturday that attracted hundreds of watercraft of all sizes. Bob Daemmrich for CNN

The event began at noon Saturday, and the sheriff's office says they began to receive calls "almost immediately." The sheriff's office responded to 15 distress calls, and a local towing company said there were "three additional reports of boats taking on water," according to the sheriff's office.

Of the five boats that sank, three have been towed out and two others remain on the bottom of Lake Travis, the sheriff's office said.

"Most boats that were taking on water, or even fully submerged," the sheriff's office said, "were able to be hooked up and towed before they sank to the bottom of the lake."

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