Over 80 rescued after Lake Conroe paddle wheel boat runs aground

LAKE CONROE, Texas – More than 80 people were rescued from a paddle wheel boat Saturday on Lake Conroe after the vessel ran aground.

The incident was reported about 11 p.m. near Bird Island in the southern part of the lake.

Passengers said the Southern Empress was returning to the dock when a fishing boat was in its way. The smaller boat didn’t move when the captain sounded the horn several times. A gust of wind ended up shoving the boat into a sandbar near the island, passengers said.

Most of the 83 passengers that were taken off the paddle-wheeler by several other vessels that responded to the scene said they didn’t even realize the boat had run aground until they were told.

No injuries were reported.

Towboats were called to the scene to dislodge the vessel.

The same situation happened in nearly the same area in 2015.

Officials said that the lake is about 2 feet below normal pool because of the lack of rainfall.

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