LAKE CONROE, Texas -- The boat a Bryan man jumped from before drowning in Lake Conroe has a history of incidents. Saturday night it was not the end of the party they were expecting.
”Several of his friends had tried to go in the water after him but were unable to locate him,” said Lt. Tim Cade with the Montgomery County Constable's Office Precinct 1.
The double deck rental party boat was full with 50 people connected to a fraternity in the College Station area.
Witnesses said 26-year-old Ross Lehmberg jumped from the top of the double deck, but hit the deck below and then rolled into the water.
Help arrived in less than ten minutes, but it took four hours and a dive team to recover Lehmberg’s body from 30 feet of water.
We looked a little deeper and found this boat is not just the biggest open party boat on Lake Conroe, but it also has quite a history.
”We have had one other drowning off this particular boat. Had one other medical call that was pretty serious where a victim was LifeFlighted," Lt. Cade added.
That incident was very similar to Saturday, a woman in her 20s jumped off the top deck and hit the bottom deck, but she lived.
A drowning happened in 2010 that was also a woman in her 20s also jumping from the top deck.
The constable's office said that a captain and two deck hands from Conroe Boat Rental were on board the boat Saturday with the captain ultimately in charge but ”he cannot monitor 50 people by himself."
Conroe Boat Rentals has been here for years running this same boat but the name is new, until recently the company was called Just for Fun.
It was still putting boats in the water on Tuesday.
”We enjoyed it for what we came to do -- it was OK,” said a Dallas-area customer.
Boaters said you can’t immediately blame the company.
”You never know what those guys were doing out there on the boat so alcohol was involved, so you never know,” said a Dallas-area customer.
”You don’t have to be a statistical genius to know that we have never had a drowning on this lake that I know of where the person was wearing a life jacket,” said Lt. Cade.
There have been citations issued in the past against the company but none so far this year.
There was nothing in connection with the drowning on Saturday. The investigation was ongoing.