Deputies responded to 15 distress calls and received three other reports of boats taking on water, after the boat parade got underway on Lake Travis, west of Austin, on Saturday, according to Kristen Dark of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. The event attracted hundreds of watercraft of all sizes.
Dark said that weather on the roughly 19,000-acre 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.
Lake Travis is an impoundment about 12 miles northwest of Austin.