The weather at Lake Travis, west of Austin, was calm on Saturday, but the large number of boats moving together created big waves, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.
“It was like an ocean out there. I’m surprised I survived. We didn’t make it to the parade because it was just too much,” Danielle Severn told CNN subsidiary KXAN. “The boats were mostly just swaying. Many of them took in water on their noses. After that it was over, especially for the smaller boats.”
The event started on Saturday lunchtime and the sheriff’s office said they received calls “almost immediately”. The sheriff’s office responded to 15 emergency calls, and a local tow company said there were “three additional reports of boats taking in water,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Of the five sunken boats, three have been towed and two more are on the bottom of Lake Travis, the sheriff’s office said.
“Most of the boats that were taking in water or were even completely submerged,” said the sheriff’s office, “could be hooked up and towed before they sank to the bottom of the lake.”