The search is continuing for a 19-year-old man from Flower Mound who fell off a sailboat on Grapevine Lake Tuesday night.
GRAPEVINE — The search is continuing for a 19-year-old man from Flower Mound who fell off a sailboat on Grapevine Lake Tuesday night.
The Grapevine Fire Department and Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens responded to the emergency call at about 9:30 p.m.
Grapevine Fire said the sailboat capsized after a strong gust of wind rushed across the lake. It created four-foot waves last night as rescuers launched search boats. He wasn’t wearing a life jacket, officials said, and hasn’t been identified.
“High winds, darkness, and the fact that the sailboat had drifted a significant way from where the parties believed the incident occurred, left rescuers with a poor last scene [sic] point to begin their search,” the fire department said.
Grapevine Lake has a vibrant sailing community, but experienced sailors said conditions can be surprisingly difficult.
Phil McKinzey has been sailing on the lake for over 24 years, and he said winds can change in an instant.
“Lake sailing is always going to have a little bit trickier winds than ocean sailing,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the airport, but we get a lot of swirling winds.”
McKinzey has seen four-foot waves only once, and he said they would be difficult to handle on the lake even for an experienced sailor in a large boat.
“With waves like that, I would immediately drop sail,” he said.
Laura Jones was on the dock Tuesday night with her family when they felt the wind rush in. They said it was sudden and strong enough to knock over furniture and send items flying. They say emergency crews respond to the missing person.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear,” said Jones. “People come to spend their leisure time and they end up with a tragedy.”