APD dive teams find body of missing paddleboarder on Lady Bird Lake
First responders got the call a little after 7:00 Saturday evening. The Austin Fire Department says a group of friends were kayaking and paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake somewhere near Redbud Isle when the group lost track of one of their friends as he was swimming back to his paddleboard.
APD dive teams searched into the night and then again Sunday morning. Police say the young man's body was found early Sunday afternoon.
Captain Mike Becker with Fire station 31 on Lake Austin says drowning is something that can happen in an instant.
"Statistics also dictate that an adult can drown in 60 seconds or less and a kid in less than 20 seconds so it's an event that's gonna happen very quickly and unexpectedly," Becker said.
He says physical ailments like diabetes, seizures and even leg cramps have played roles in drownings in the past.
"Drug or alcohol use will come into play, a person's swimming ability comes into play, there's a lot of people that are in and around the water that don't have any swimming experience or any knowledge of what to do," Becker said.
The Fire station 31 crew didn't participate in Saturday night's search on Lady Bird Lake, but Becker's worked many and he's been on a dive team before too. He can't stress enough just how important it is to wear a life jacket. He says 80% of people that drown are not wearing them.
"I know in my personal experience, I've never pulled anyone out of the water that was wearing a life jacket," Becker said.
Josh Nolan and Alexa Kelly spent Sunday afternoon on Lady Bird Lake. Alexa owns a sail boat so she knows how taxing a day on the lake can be on a person.
"It's important to stay hydrated because when you get in the sun and you're out of it, tired and you've got to do something physical, it can be a bad scenario," she said.
David Putnam puts his kids through swimming lessons and he makes sure they wear life jackets as well.
"Even if I think they're great swimmers we're still going to put a life jacket on them because your abilities are not as good as you think they are when you get in open water and it's cold and the wind starts blowing and it's hard to see," Putnam said.
We still don't know if drugs or alcohol were a factor in Saturday night's drowning or if he was wearing a life jacket. The young man's name hasn't been released yet.