According to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department news release, state law enforcement officers were busy last weekend. Collectively, they made contact with over 47,000 boaters resulting in 63 arrests for boating while intoxicated.
Other incidents encountered over the holiday weekend included nine boating accidents, recovering two stolen boats and conducting nine search and rescue missions. There were also multiple felony arrests included 41-year-old James Fry for intoxicated assault causing serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony after plowing into a Marble Falls, Texas police boat.
According to published reports, Marble Falls Police Captain Ted Young was patrolling the lake after a fireworks show when he was struck at a high rate of speed by a bass boat driven by Fry. The police officer sustained a broken back, several broken ribs and a lacerated spleen.
Game wardens are also investigating the death of a five year old girl that occurred Saturday on Lake Travis near Austin, although details are still scarce six days later. Even more tragic, four members of a Houston County family drowned while canoeing during a family gathering on Saturday. The family rented a canoe at Houston County Lake and the four, ranging in age from fifty-five years old to six, took off in the canoe for a paddle around the lake, but they never made it back. The search that evening only netted a few possessions and three life preservers floating in the lake; witnesses say only the 6-year old boy was wearing his preserver when the family paddled away from the rental facility.
Police found three of the victims Sunday, as well as their canoe at the bottom of the lake near one of the bodies. On Monday, a TPWD dive team found the fourth victim. Authorities speculate the canoe took on water and capsized, dumping the family into the lake. None of the adults were wearing life preservers and authorities are speculating that the boy’s life preserver was improperly fitted.
Lone Star Chronicles – Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Fish