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A Boat On The Willamette River Sank After Being Swamped By Waves During A Trump Boat Parade

A viral video showed people screaming for help as their boat sank after being swamped by waves during a Trump boat parade in Oregon. No injuries were reported.

Last updated on August 19, 2020, at 9:44 a.m. ET

Posted on August 17, 2020, at 4:11 p.m. ET

A boat sank on the Willamette River on Sunday after being swamped by waves during a Trump Boat Parade in Portland, Oregon, officials said.

A viral video on Twitter — that has since been deleted — showed dozens of boats with pro-Trump signage and flags creating a wake as they sped down the river near downtown Portland.

The video then cuts to one boat taking on water while its occupants cling on and scream for help.

"Help us! Help us, please," one woman on the sinking boat is heard yelling, as a few other boats, including one with Trump flags, approach the sinking boat.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

The now-deleted Twitter video uploaded by KSDK News


Trump boat parade overtakes the Willamette River in Portland, OR and sinks nearby families boat 🤬

River Patrol marine deputies responded at 2:10 p.m. local time to a boat taking on water, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Chris Liedle told BuzzFeed News.

"Witnesses reported that it was a result of two waves swamping a low-profile boat," Liedle said.

By the time deputies arrived, the people on the boat had been picked up by other boaters in the area, according to Liedle.

Officials were told that the sinking boat's occupants were not part of the Trump boat parade.

No injuries were reported and there was no investigation into the incident, Liedle said.

Seth Ruden told BuzzFeed News that he and his family were in a sailboat that could be seen in the video, but he did not witness the boat sinking.

Ruden, 41, said that he had not heard that the boat parade was happening on the river but that suddenly there were dozens of boats "coming at us at a very high speed" making him "very nervous."

Ruden said he blew his horn but that the boaters "didn't look they were paying attention."

He said the Trump boaters were going very fast and were creating wakes in a "no-wake zone," turning the calm river into a "torrential storm-like atmosphere."

"Our boat pitched liked I had never seen," Ruden said. "The bow went from four feet up to actually going underneath the water repeatedly," he said. "It was very scary."

I was in the sailboat in this shot with my family, the horn blown is ours. This floatilla was going way too fast in a no wake zone, it tossed our 30’ sailboat’s bow deep in the water, surprised this was the only impact of this stupid event https://t.co/JGuKGEA3Da

"My kids were scared," Ruden tweeted after the event. "We put the throttle all the way up and kept it forward, grabbed the kids and rode it out."

Kristina Malimon, an organizer of the Trump boat parade in Oregon, said in a Facebook post that there were more than 100 boats "filled with patriots and Trump flags" at the parade.

Malimon told BuzzFeed News that she had informed the Coast Guard about the event and said that they had extra guards on duty.

She said that she did not witness the incident, but was told that three pro-Trump boats came to the rescue of the boat.

Malimon also shared a screenshot of a Facebook post by a Trump boat parade participant who witnessed the incident.

In the Facebook post, a woman participant said she was in a yellow boat (seen in the video) that came to the sinking boat's rescue.

She claimed that the boat sank because it had "too many people on one boat" and not because of the Trump boats.

Tyler Traudt, an 18-year-old who took part in the Trump boat parade and witnessed the incident, told BuzzFeed News that the boat appeared to have its engine off and that it was "just hanging out there" on the side of the river.

Traudt said that waves from the parade boats were splashing over the back of the boat.

He said that there were "too many people on the boat and it looked to me like they were already sitting low in the water."

Traudt said that his boat turned around to help when he saw that the boat was half underwater but that three other boats from the parade were already helping the people in the water.

Another Trump boat parade participant, who livestreamed the event, said in a video that the parade boats "were going pretty fast" and "creating a pretty big wake." It is not clear if he witnessed the incident.

He and another Trump supporter described the boat parade as "an army" that was "flooding" the river.

"Watching a whole fleet of people with American flags and Trump flags... it was kinda like an army charging into the people's republic of Oregon," the other supporter said.

Malimon said there was another Trump boat parade scheduled in Portland on Sept. 13.

At a campaign rally in Minnesota on Monday, Trump bragged about the boat parades, saying, "Look at Boaters for Trump."

"No matter where you go — a river, a lake, an ocean — boats are there by the thousands on the weekend," Trump said to cheers from the crowd.

His campaign has sought to promote the community-organized boat parades as evidence of his passionate support from fans.

A Trump campaign email sent last week urged supporters to buy Trump–Pence 2020 flags for the boat parades.

"Americans across the Country are hosting MASSIVE Trump Boat Parades in support of their President. It’s beautiful," the campaign email said.

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