Tuesday evening Ricardo Lopez of Houston took his girlfriend identified as Patricia Floriano, 34 of Jacinto City and her 14-year-old son out on a boat ride on Lake Livingston. They had launched at Browder’s Marina just outside Coldspring near the dam and were heading to Pine Island which is just over 3 miles north of the marina. They had just about gotten to the island in their aluminum boat when severe weather moved in. Intense winds came in first with winds reported in the area 27mph with gusts to 38mph. The waves became quite large with whitecaps. Several of those waves came over the bow of the boat which then started to sink. All 3 occupants jumped into the water. Lopez, who had a life vest on threw life vests to the other 2. After being in the water for at least an hour and the rain now moving in, Lopez decided to try to swim to shore. Lopez said it seemed like he was going nowhere, and it became dark. As he got closer to shore another boat came nearby. The occupants on that boat were able to hear his screams for help and got Lopez out of the water. The group on the boat called 911 and returned to the area where Lopez’s boat went down. They found nothing. Captain Joe Schultea with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and started to organize a search. Camilla Fire responded as did Cape Royale Fire, who Schultea said has extensive rescue experience on the lake. DPS was caller as were Texas Parks and Wildlife. The U.S. Coast Guard was alerted and responded with a helicopter. HazMat Special Services from La Porte responded as did Constable Roy Pippin with his boat. Just after 1 a.m. Game Wardens with Texas Parks and Wildlife found some flip-flops and an ice chest which was identified as being from the sunk boat. The search area was then moved to that area which was close to 10 miles from the area the boat went down. The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter had gone to refuel at Conroe and was enroute back when they were alerted to the area change. As they approached, within seconds their spotlight spotted the victims in the water. Game Wardens also a very short distance away also spotted the two under the lights waving at the helicopter and responded. After pulling both victims from the water they returned to a waiting ambulance at Browder’s Marina. EMS crews checked both victims and determined both victims were in good condition. Captain Schultea attributed the condition of the victims to the 80-plus water temperatures. Schultea said he had already contacted Eqqusearch to turn the rescue incident into a recovery effort as it was not believed the victims would be found safe. They were set to respond at daylight. He also said the area of search was massive with the lake being 31-miles long and covering 120 square miles, the third largest lake in the state behind Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn. Also, the weatherman being off on predictions helped as heavy rain was forecast during the night however less than a quarter inch fell with the moon lighting the lake part of the night. Sheriff Capers would like to remind everyone; Having fun on the lake can be a memorable experience. However, make it a pleasant experience by keeping a close watch on weather and always wear your life vest. Life vests can save your life as was so evident in tonight’s event.