KXAN-TV
Rescue vessels near the shore of Lake Travis beside the overturned barge.
updated 5/3/2004 12:49:42 PM ET 2004-05-03T16:49:42

Partygoers apparently hoping to catch a glimpse of nude sunbathers crowded on one side of a floating barge, prompting the ship to capsize and dump all 60 people into Lake Travis.

Two people were hospitalized with minor injuries Sunday after the rented double-decker barge sank near Hippie Hollow, a lakeside park and the only public nude beach in Texas.

The accident occurred during Splash Day, a semiannual event hosted at the clothing-optional area by the Austin Tavern Guild, a gay and lesbian bar association.

Witnesses said that all of the people aboard the barge moved to one side as it neared Hippie Hollow, creating uneven distribution and making it tilt. It sank in 50-foot-deep water.

Krista Umscheid, a spokeswoman for the Lower Colorado River Authority, said that although everyone aboard was accounted for, Travis County sheriff’s divers were checking compartments of the sunken pontoon boat as a precaution.      

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