Texas boat nearly goes over edge of dam, occupants rescued, officials say

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Some boaters in Texas were rescued Thursday after their vessel came dangerously close to tipping over a dam in the Austin area, according to local paramedics. 

Emergency crews responded to the Longhorn Dam after 911 callers reported that the boat was “up against the dam” and it looked like it was “going to go over,” according to Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services (ATCEMS).

ATCEMS shared updates of the rescue on social media. One photo showed just how close the boat came to tipping over. 

ATCEMS added that the vessel was attached to another boat in the area by a rope. Life vests were lowered down to the vessel’s four occupants, officials said. 

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Roughly 15 minutes later, the boaters were pulled to safety, according to ATCEMS.

“Boat & occupants have been pulled off the dam & in to open water by the @Austin_Police lake patrol boat. No occupants are requesting #ATCEMS. No further updates planned unless conditions change. No further information is available,” ATCEMS wrote. 

Police said four women were on the electric boat when it got swept up in the current near the dam and wasn’t strong enough to escape, according to FOX 7 of Austin.

“They approached the dam, weren’t paying attention, they were talking to each other,” said Officer Brad Smith with the Austin Police Department.

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Jame Cane of Retro Boat Rentals, a boat rental service in Austin, said he rushed to the scene in a separate boat and tied a rope to their vessel to keep it from falling over the dam. Soon after, emergency crews and authorities arrived at the scene. 

“Props to him for helping out with that,” Smith said.

The Austin lake patrol, which pulled the occupants and boat off the dam, is set to be impacted in August by budget cuts to the department, Smith noted. He wondered what would have happened if they weren’t there to help. 

“Not sure what kind of rescue it would have been. Luckily, we were on patrol on Lady Bird in a boat going up and down. We were by the Texas rowing dock when the call came out so we were able to zip right there when the call came out and help with the recovery,” Smith said. 

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The four occupants of the boat were unharmed, officials added.