Search for missing swimmer turns to recovery on Lake Travis

Travis County
ATCEMS Austin-Travis County EMS_106915

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The search for a swimmer who did not resurface Saturday afternoon on Lake Travis near Emerald Point has now turned into a recovery.

The search first started near the 5900 block of Hiline Road just before 5 p.m., Austin-Travis County EMS said. It was reported an adult went underwater and did not come back up.

ATCEMS said first responders were using radar to help locate the swimmer, whose boat was anchored in 80 to 90 feet of water. Those efforts were unsuccessful, and recovery was turned over to law enforcement.

STAR Flight, Lake Travis Fire Rescue, Pedernales Fire Department and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

Later on Saturday around 8:30 p.m., a second rescue took place in Devil’s Cove. ATCEMS said it was reported a person was hit by a boat propeller. The agency said the person has serious, but not expected to be life threatening injuries to their lower extremities. STAR Flight was requested to take to them to the hospital.

First responders on high alert

Emergency crews are preparing for many new boaters on the water this weekend as boating peaked during the pandemic.

Austin-Travis County EMS said boat and jet ski collisions, people falling off a jet ski without their life jackets, heat exhaustion and drinking while driving are all things first responders are looking out for.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Texas Game Wardens arrested 42 people driving a boat while intoxicated last year.

The Austin EMS Association said life jackets and being aware of your surroundings are the biggest boating takeaways.

“Make sure you know your location at all times. We do see a lot of boat accidents, and we can’t get to a good location, and it takes a long time for us to get out to the patients,” said Selena Xie, president of Austin EMS Association. “Always make sure you know your surroundings really well.”

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