Bob Daemmrich / AP
The weather was calm, the atmosphere festive. It was all the more surprising when several boats sank on Saturday at an event by Trump supporters near Austin, Texas.
“Decorate your boats in patriotic colors and hoist as many Trump flags as she can handle!” The Facebook page for the Lake Travis Trump Boat Parade was recommended. “Let’s really make a statement!”
The statement wasn’t what they intended. As the hundreds of boats moved together, their aftermath created unexpected turbulence. It wasn’t long before the Travis County Sheriff’s office received 15 911 calls. It received three other reports of boats taking in water from a local towing company.
“Almost immediately after the parade began, TCSO received emergency calls from boaters,” said a press release from the sheriff’s office. “The emergency calls were varied and included: boats taking in water, blocked engines, capsized boats and sinking boats.”
Most boats that took in water could be towed before they sank to the bottom of the lake, the sheriff’s office said. Ultimately, five boats sank during the event. Three of them were rescued, two remained under water on Sunday.
There were no injuries among those calling for help, the sheriff’s office said. The office said it “found no evidence of bad game”.
One of the flooded boats carried several pro-Trump flags, including one that read “Make the Liberals Weep Again”. According to photographer Bob Daemmrich, this boat has not capsized.
Firefighters pulled “numerous” people out of the water, Braden Frame, president of the Lake Travis Fire Fights Association, told the New York Times.
Several pro-Trump boat parades took place over the weekend, including in waters near Washington, DC, San Diego, Erie, Pennsylvania, Gainesville, Georgia, the south shore of Massachusetts, Prescott, Wisconsin, and Lake Eufaula Oklahoma.