Harvey 'boat heroes' honored at annual Houston Boat Show

HOUSTON – People who became instant first responders when they used their own boats to rescue people stranded during Hurricane Harvey were honored Friday at the Houston Boat Show.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis recognized 18 Harvey "Boat Heroes" before the boat show opened at 1 p.m.

VIDEO: Man honored as Harvey 'boat hero' recounts storm

Sylvester offered his personal thanks, saying, "Thank you for stepping up, for volunteering, putting yourselves at harm's risk for the benefit of one another. But for you, we simply would not have been able to save so many."

One boat hero, Kyle Holmes, a Texas A&M Galveston student, has family in Houston and jumped in to help with no hesitation. "It was just gut instinct. I knew I had family in the area, many friends and complete strangers who were just stranded helplessly."

Another trio, Jude Sellers, his son Matthew and eighth-grader Jack Jones saw the overwhelming need when they first rescued their neighbors, ages 88 and 92. "We picked them up, and then it just kept dominoing down the street. All we saw were hands waving and umbrellas waving and trying to get our attention to help them get out, too."

There were hundreds, if not thousands, of boat heroes who saw the need to help their neighbors and responded beyond expectations. Eighteen people were honored Friday. Help us honor the rest. If you know a boat hero, post their picture and use the hashtag #boatheroes to recognize them for their heroism.

The 63rd annual Houston Boat Show is the largest indoor boat show in the nation. It is open through Sunday, Jan. 14, and showcases all types of boats, from kayaks to cruisers and beyond.

There will be camping equipment, fishing gear, arts and crafts, food and activities for children, including indoor fishing in the giant, 5,000-gallon Bass Tub! The Houston Boat Show covers 700,000 square feet under one roof at NRG Center and provides fun for the whole family.

The event put on by the Boating Trade Association of Metropolitan Houston, which owns the show. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under attend for free. 

Ticket proceeds go to support the nonprofit organization's programs to promote water safety and water/outdoor activities in Texas.

About the Authors: