Boater drowns after vessel capsizes at Topaz Lake

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A 32-year-old Reno man drowned on Topaz Lake Saturday after the boat he was on capsized in stormy conditions, officials said on Monday.

Jacques “Jack” Castaneda was enjoying a day on the water when windy and stormy conditions capsized the boat he was on, sending him and three others into the cold water roughly 200 feet from the shore, said a news release from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office were first on scene, and pulled the other three victims, one adult and two minors, to safety. Castaneda, however, was found unresponsive in the water.

Deputies performed CPR, but he was pronounced deceased at the scene. The other three were treated at the scene and released. Neither of the adults were wearing life jackets when the boat capsized.

“Obviously, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young man,” said Game Warden Captain Brian Bowles, boating lLaw administrator for Nevada. “Accidents like this are the reason you always check the weather report before you head out. You never want to be in the middle of the lake when a storm rolls in like it did today.”

Bowles questions whether the cold water might also have played a role. He explains that the water at Topaz Lake is currently in the low 50’s, making it extremely difficult for anyone to have been able to swim to shore.

“The average person would start to lose muscle control within the first few minutes,” he said. “That is why we always ask everyone to wear a life jacket when they are on the water. You just never know what is going to happen.”

Although children under the age of 13 are the only people legally required to wear a life vest, NDOW strongly suggests that everyone wear one when they head out on the water.

Source: NDOW

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