Perhaps political rallies should be limited to terra firma. Several boats sank during a “Trump Boat Parade” event on Lake Travis, located northwest of Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 5 — just weeks after a boat sank during a “Trump Boat Parade” in Portland, Ore.
“We responded to multiple calls of boats in distress, several of them sank,” Kristen Dark, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office in Travis County, Texas, said of the incident, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Braden Frame, president of the Lake Travis Fire Fighters Association, told The New York Times that firefighters rescued “numerous” people from the water, but a spokesperson for the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services said no injuries had been reported.
“We train for water rescues regularly, but this is the first multi-vessel, multi-incident water rescue that we’ve responded to not precipitated by a collision,” he added.
Dark explained to the Times that there were “too many variables” to parse out what happened, but what is clear is that there were “an exceptional number of the boats on the lake” on Saturday. “When they all started moving at the same time, it generated significant waves,” she added.
Event organizer Steve Salinas — who said the parade was “one way that Trump supporters can get out and express themselves without causing too much trouble or congestion in streets” — told the Times the water was choppy and swells were high on Saturday.
“You can have really great water one second, and it could get some pretty heavy swells in a matter of minutes,” he added. “Once boats get on a lake, mother nature has its own plans.”
But Aaron Treadway, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the Austin/San Antonio office, said that the weather conditions most likely wouldn’t have caused the boats to sink, the newspaper reports.
A boat sank during a Trump boat parade in Oregon in August 2020.
On Aug. 16, a boat sank into the Willamette River near Portland, Ore., after more than 20 boats and watercraft passed by in another Trump Boat Parade.
Sgt. Bryan White, a spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, told The Oregonian that no one was injured in that incident and the swamped boat wasn’t part of the parade.
Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders checked in from a Trump boat parade at Lake Ouachita in Arkansas on Sunday, writing on Twitter that more than 1,500 boats participated in the event.
According to the Times, another Trump-supporting boat parade — the so-called Nation’s Capital Trumptilla Boat Parade and Rally — was scheduled to be held on the Potomac River on Sunday, Sept. 6.
President Trump praised the boat parades on Twitter in May, writing, “Thank you very much to our beautiful ‘boaters.’ I will never let you down!”
Hopefully, participants in future Trump boat parades take note and learn from the sinking mishaps n Oregon and Texas so that no one is seriously injured.