Family rescued from Lake Livingston after floating for nearly 8 hours

By Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

LAKE LIVINGSTON, Texas - A man, woman and her 14-year-old son were rescued Wednesday from Lake Livingston after jumping from their sinking boat and floating in the lake for nearly eight hours.

Ricardo Lopez, the man who was rescued, said the family had spent the day fishing and was going back to shore about 7 p.m. Tuesday when storms rolled in.

“We were heading back and then the weather turned really crazy, so then the waves, they (started) to get really high,” Lopez said. “One of the waves hit the dome of the boat and it sank the front of it.”

Lopez said he was able to swim closer to shore, where he was picked up by another boat after several hours. He called for help and a massive search began.

A Coast Guard helicopter combed the 31-mile-long lake, and eventually spotted an ice chest and flip-flops floating in the water. Rescuers focused on that area and found the woman and her son about 2 a.m., floating about 10 miles away from where they jumped into the water and waving at the helicopter.

“Temperature was good,” said Capt. Joe Schultea, of the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office. “Everything went well for them. They had their life jackets. They put them on. The young man that went for help was a good swimmer and had good information for us.”

Deputies said the woman and her son are doing well.

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