Several boats sink in pro-Trump boat parade in Texas that drew hundreds of supporters

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Several boats sink in pro-Trump boat parade in Texas that drew hundreds of supporters

Hojun Choi and Joel Shannon, USA TODAY NETWORK
Published 4:48 p.m. ET Sept. 5, 2020 | Updated 8:52 p.m. ET Sept. 5, 2020

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AUSTIN, Texas – Multiple boats participating in a parade in support of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign sunk Saturday on Lake Travis, located west of Austin, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

Multiple small boats needed rescue after they began sinking due to choppy water conditions as the boats travled together on the lake, according to the office. No one was injured as a result of those incidents, according to Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services officials.

The lake is known for being difficult to navigate at times, and large wakes could be seen during Saturday’s boat parade.

Travis County Sheriff’s Office “responded to multiple calls involving boats in distress during the Trump parade on Lake Travis. Several boats did sink,” the office tweeted Saturday.

Numerous boat parades have been held by Trump supporters around the nation, and Saturday’s event on Lake Travis drew hundreds — they took to the lake in pontoon boats, sailboats and yachts flying “Trump 2020” flags.

Traveling in a large caravan across the water, the president’s backers greeted each other with their horns and waved to other boaters in solidarity.

Such political rallies on water have gained traction across the country, with Trump supporters holding boat parades in Florida, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and now, in Texas.

The occasional airplane carrying Trump banners also could be seen flying above the gathering. During one point of the parade, five people made a parachute jump over the lake.

It was not the first time that the boat parades have turned dangerous. In Portland, Oregon, a boat on the Willamette River sank last month as a Trump boat parade passed by.

Buck Henderson, a resident of Lakeway, said Saturday’s boat parade was significant in size compared to other events he has seen in the past.

“I think it’s great to show support for our president,” Henderson said.

Pacey Chynow, who began organizing the event in June, said her “motivation for doing this is that I have a child, and I am fighting for her. This is my way of saying this is the future that I want for her to inherit.”

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