FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims To Show Ice-Covered Boats In Texas During February 2021

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows ice-covered boats at a Galveston, Texas, dock in mid-February.

Verdict: False

The image, which appears to have been taken in 2005, shows frozen boats in Switzerland.

Fact Check: 

Winter storms have swept across the U.S. this week, including one in Texas that left millions without power, according to NPR. At least 34 people, including 20 in Texas, have died due to the severe winter weather, CBS News reported Friday.

Amid the winter storm hitting Texas, Facebook users have been sharing a photo of boats covered in ice, claiming it was taken in Galveston this month. The caption from one such Feb. 16 post reads, “Galveston Texas today. This is a historic pic. Wow.”

Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the picture had been posted on the website PBase.com by photographer Jean-Pierre Scherrer in a gallery titled “Ice Storm over Geneva, Switzerland.” It was taken on Jan. 29, 2005, in Geneva, not this week in Texas, according to the description.

Scherrer also noted on PBase.com that several people had asked if his photos of various frozen objects had been taken in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. (RELATED: Did Police Recently Make A Human Trafficking Bust In Midland, Texas?)

“After several people asking if these photos were shot at a place named ‘Lake Geneva’ in Wisconsin, USA, I certify that it is NOT !” he wrote. “I was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and still live there ! I guess the ‘original’ city of Geneva, Switzerland, allready (sic) existed centuries before Americas were even discovered…”

Local news station CW39 reported that snow covered Galveston’s beaches on Monday. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department temporarily closed saltwater fishing spots along parts of the state’s coast to “protect resources during freezing weather conditions,” according to a press release.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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