Many boaters gathered Saturday at a Texas lake in a show of support for President Donald Trump, but the event took a turn as multiple boats went under.
Four boats sank in Lake Travis in central Texas during the demonstration dubbed the “Trump Boat Parade,” The New York Times reports. An uncounted number of boats had entered the lake for the procession, which was organized on Facebook by Steve Salinas.
While the number of participating boats is unknown, Salinas stated that boats of several sizes on the lake, ranging from 8-foot watercraft to 60-foot yachts. He acknowledged that the waves on the lake were choppy and unstable.
“You can have really great water one second, and it could get some pretty heavy swells in a matter of minutes,” Salinas said, according to the outlet. “Once boats get on a lake, mother nature has its own plans.”
According to Kristen Dark, spokeswoman of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, numerous distress calls were made sometime after noon. At least four vessels sank and several people had to be rescued by authorities.
“We had an exceptional number of boats on the lake today,” Dark stated. “When they all started moving at the same time, it generated significant waves.”
No one was seriously injured in the incident.
This wasn’t the first time a pro-Trump rally has taken place on the waters. Al Jazeera reported that there have been numerous flotilla boat rallies, dubbed “Trumptilla,” that have taken place over the summer in states like North Carolina, Florida and Arizona amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders participated in one of the parades in Arkansas.
Salinas said the decision to hold the parade on the lake was “one way that Trump supporters can get out and express themselves without causing too much trouble or congestion in streets.”
Recent street demonstrations by Trump supporters have had some contentious and tragic moments.
As previously reported by theGrio, a man in Portland, Oregon, was shot dead after a Jacob Blake protest was interrupted by a caravan of Trump-supporting counter-protesters.
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