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Intoxicated Man Falls Off Jet Ski, Throwing Baby Without Life Jacket into Canyon Lake

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Intoxicated Man Falls Off Jet Ski, Throwing Baby Without Life Jacket into Canyon Lake

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Seconds after this image was taken, 33-year-old Ledy Manuel Izquierdo-Castillo fell off his jet ski into Canyon Lake. His baby, who was not wearing a life jacket, survived. Image courtesy of Renay Devine with Canyon Lake Vacations.

Tragedy was narrowly averted at Canyon Lake Boat Ramp No. 2 Sunday afternoon after an allegedly intoxicated man driving a jet ski with his 11-month-old baby in his lap tipped the vessel over, sending the child hurtling into the lake.

The baby was not wearing a life jacket, witnesses said. The incident occurred some 40 to 50 feet away from shore, in the middle of Turkey Cove.

A young girl on a tube towed behind the jet ski jumped off as the vessel continued to roar across the cove before crashing on the opposite shore. She was wearing a life jacket. The man, identified in Comal County jail records as 33-year-old Ledy Manuel Izquierdo-Castillo, was not wearing a safety lanyard that would have automatically cut off the jet ski’s engine.

Comal County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jennifer Smith said he has been released from custody.

Horrified boat captain Conner Rust with Canyon Lake Vacations rushed to the scene after seeing the man treading in the water, holding the child by its leg, head still submerged.

A witness said Izquierdo-Castillo — who earlier allegedly cursed bystanders after they warned him not to do anything so dangerous — waved Rust away and waited for a family member to arrive on another jet ski instead.

Family Warned for Reckless Behavior

Renay Devine, Canyon Lake Vacations’ boat-hand manager, said she is a regular on the Turkey Cove ramp and warned the family — part of a group of around 15 people — several times not to be reckless.

Comal County Pct. 4 Constable Shane Rapp had been called to Boat Ramp No. 2 earlier Sunday to talk to the family, Devine said. He was not present when the incident occurred.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Press Officer Kirk McDonnell said CCSO deputies who arrived at the scene Sunday afternoon arrested the operator for boating-while-intoxicated (BWI)

“Game wardens responded to the initial call but will not take further actions for any boat-accident report due to no injuries or property damage,” he said. “Game wardens issued the operator two Class C citations and two written warnings.”

Devine said the family also visited Canyon Lake the previous weekend and also partied and drank alcohol.

Her son was so shaken by the incident he vomited afterwards and was up most of the night, reliving events in his mind, Devine said, adding it’s something she’ll never forget either.

More Law Enforcement Needed

Comal County, which is under fire from the Canyon Lake Boat Ramps Community Alliance (CLBRCA) for not doing more to address issues at its chaotic boat ramps, did not respond to a request for comment.

Doug Leecock with CLBRCA said despite new signage about wake zones, more needs to be done to keep people safe.

“These ramps need law enforcement from noon until sundown every weekend during the summer,’ he said. “Even in the county’s own survey, respondents resoundingly agreed that there needs to be more law enforcement. Whatever law enforcement presence is currently being used; it is not enough to manage the clear, apparent disregard for this signage solution.”

One possible solution might be to bring in law enforcement from nearby counties or use private security companies to enforce the rules at county boat ramps, Leecock said.

White buoys near Boat Ramp No. 2 clearly indicating a no-wake zone, where speed limits are five mph or less.

“The purpose is for safety of persons and property inside the no-wake zone,” Leecock said, warning that a few new signs from the county aren’t going to change “bad behavior.”

Dangerous Behavior Described

Devine said she sees all kinds of dangerous behavior at the boat ramp on a regular basis. After this near drowning she said she won’t wait again before taking more decisive action.

“Last night, that’s what kept me up,” she said. “I learned a lesson. I’m not going to keep giving people the benefit of the doubt out there.”

She called both CCSO’s non-emergency line and 9-1-1 Sunday. The baby’s uncle, who she guesstimates at six-feet-tall and 250 pounds, yelled and cursed at her to hang up because she was “lying.”

“We don’t need cops here,” he told her. The child’s mother also berated Devine for trying to intervene.

“We see a lot of things on a daily basis, accidents, people thrown from boats,” said Devine, who works at Boat Ramp No. 2 every day. She invites anyone who thinks the boat ramps are safe to spend two hours at any boat ramp any Saturday afternoon to see what really goes on.

“You name it, we see it…I can’t tell you how many times a day that we’re telling people to slow down.”

But Sunday’s incident was the first time she witnessed “something so preventable and stupid.

“Drink and drive and put an infant on the freaking water…something had better happen because this is ridiculous,” she said.

People try to blame outfitters for the dangerous conditions at boat ramps, Devine said. That’s not fair.

By default, these companies are on the front lines, trying to enforce confusing rules and keep people safe.

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. Marolyn parker June 23, 2022

    This situation involved a very young minor with no input. This clearly calls for more than a lame citation. The man was so intoxicated he held the baby by his/her leg with head still in under water. Something more is called for-this man should not have access to this or any other child

    Reply
  2. Raja June 22, 2022

    It’s not surprising that family members supported this type of reckless behavior. Even the child’s mother is a freaking idiot who agreed that her child should go into the water with no life vest.

    Reply
  3. lordoflys June 22, 2022

    Freedom. I’m surprised he wasn’t wearing a handgun. Stupidity and irresponsibility is what it is.

    Reply
  4. PJ June 21, 2022

    I agree with you Ms Devine. Better to call then have another death! Wish they would be tougher on such individuals. I understand CCSE might be understaffed but they need to figure out something for the county needs to figure out something to help!

    Reply
  5. Cinco June 21, 2022

    “White buoys near Boat Ramp No. 2 clearly indicating a no-wake zone, where speed limits are five mph or less.”

    No Wake Zones are ‘minimum headway speed’ in Texas, not 5 MPH as stated in this article. ‘Minimum headway speed’ is a slow as you can go while maintaining control of your vessel, that’s idle speed for 99% of the boats on Canyon Lake.

    Reply
  6. Tanya Fischer June 21, 2022

    Take the child away from such irresponsible parents ‼️

    Reply
  7. Robert June 21, 2022

    Something has to be done, the mass influx of people moving to the area has created a real safety hazard out on Canyon lake during the summer. I get tired of reading about the weekend fatalities on Monday mornings. I am also surprised that this individual did not get upgraded BUI charges since he had a child with him. If he were driving a car with a child he would be charged with driving while intoxicated with child under 15 years of age…. which is a felony.

    Reply
    1. AJ June 22, 2022

      Also, child endangerment should be added to BUI. That poor baby being held underwater by his leg! by his drunken father. Makes me sick.

  8. Edward Lapeyre June 20, 2022

    I think I was in that approximate area kayaking with my daughter; my first time traveling to/swimming at Canyon Lake. We were on the lookout for careless boaters/jet skiers as the lake was pretty busy. But I couldn’t have dreamed up the danger this guy created. Christ….and he is a father/parent setting this kind of rotten example ??

    Reply
  9. Nancy June 20, 2022

    I don’t understand why charges weren’t filed. The child should be taken away from the parents until they can be responsible adults. They may not be so lucky next time.

    Reply
  10. Meredith June 20, 2022

    Comal County Sheriffs Office doesn’t have the manpower to meet the need. They are already short 20+ deputies and can’t keep deputies on long term because they leave to go to surrounding agencies that pay more.

    Reply

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