Mother, son found alive after boat capsizes in Lake Livingston - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Mother, son found alive after boat capsizes in Lake Livingston


A mother and her 14-year-old son were found alive overnight on Lake Livingston after the boat they were in capsized during the Tuesday night storms.

Polk County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Byron Lyons said the pair were found around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

According to a press release from the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office, the SJCSO received a 911 call at about 9 p.m. Tuesday in regard to a man who was rescued from the water in Lake Livingston by a Good Samaritan with a boat.

"The resident advised they could hear the man yelling for help, boarded their own boat, and found him," the press release stated.

Ricardo Lopez, the 37-year-old Houston man who was rescued, said that he, his girlfriend, and her 14-year-old son went out on his boat to go fishing at about 1 p.m. Tuesday, the press release stated.

"After fishing for a while and enjoying a day on the lake, Lopez said he observed severe weather coming in rapidly between 6 and 7 p.m.," the press release stated. "Lopez said the waves were starting to grow. He started heading back towards the marina. However, the waves crashed over the bow of his boat, causing it to 'swamp' and roll over."

Lopez, Patricia Floriano, 37, of Jacinto City, and her son all jumped out of the capsizing boat, the press release stated.

"All were wearing life vests and even had several other life vests tied together to use as an additional flotation device," the press release stated.

Lopez stayed with his girlfriend and her son for about 30 minutes. Then he decided to swim to the western shore to get help, the press release stated. He told authorities that it got dark out on the lake, but he continued to swim toward the lights.

"He said he heard music and saw some people on a dock," the press release stated. "He began yelling to them for help, and they boarded their boat and rescued him."

The San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office, the Cape Royale Volunteer Fire Department, the Camilla VFD, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Pct. 2 Constable Roy Pippin, Haz Mat Special Services from LaPorte, and the U.S. Coast Guard took part in the search for Floriano and her son.

According to the press release, the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter's crew spotted the mother and her son floating in the lake several miles from the spot where the boat capsized. A TPW boat rescued them from the water and the pair was taken to the marina, where EMS personnel checked them out.

"Even after floating in the lake for six or seven hours, all were found to be in good shape and were released to head home," the press release stated. "The boat has not been located."

In the press release, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said that having fun on a lake can be a memorable experience.

"However, make it a pleasant experience by keeping a close watch on weather and always wear your life vest," Capers said in the press release. "Life vests can save your life as was so evident in tonight's event."

Lake Livingston is fed by the Trinity River, and it is the second-largest man-man lake in the state of Texas, the press release stated. The lake has more than 30 miles of shoreline in San Jacinto County alone.

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