Body of missing man on Lady Bird Lake recovered
It took Austin fire and police department dive teams as well as STAR Flight more than seven hours to locate the body of the man who fell off of his paddle board and drowned in Lady Bird Lake.
"We received a call from a person who was paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake, that she was with another person, a man in his 30's, who fell off of his board and never returned to the surface," Captain Rick Rutledge, of Austin-Travis County EMS, said.
The victim's girlfriend called police. Austin fire teams were one of the first to arrive at the scene.
"Our units put swimmers in the water, along with Austin EMS crews, they went into the water to see if they could make a recovery from the surface during the time frame that we had set up that we were in that rescue mode, we were unable to locate the victim," Division Chief Mike Frick, of Austin Fire Department, said.
After searching for over a half an hour, the rescue mission turned into a recovery but due to debris from recent flooding, the recovery has been challenging.
"Because there has been so much water movement lately and stirring in the water the visibility in the water is very poor. It's a foot or two if you're lucky so searching is very difficult when you can't see," Capt. Rutledge said.
First responders do not know why the victim fell into the water but they say he was not wearing a life vest and they are reminding lake goers to protect themselves on the water.
"One of the safety issues or safety features that seem to be lacking (out on the lake) are personal floatation devices. It is a hot day on the lake, I understand that but these kind of things have a lot better outcome if somebody has one of those life jackets on because you never know when you're going to come off that board or off that boat," Division Chief Frick said.
The identity of the victim has not been released.