Missing South Lake Tahoe paddle boarder found alive
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — At approximately 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, the paddle boarder who went missing from Lake Tahoe last week was located.
Investigators made personal telephone contact with Zbigniew (“Zibi”) Moryn, who is safe and currently visiting Missouri. Investigators received several helpful tips from the public who had seen media coverage of this case. These tips, combined with social media clues and leads located from Moryn’s recovered GoPro camera, helped first to locate and speak with his traveling companion, Ed Berger. Berger resides in Arizona and confirmed that Moryn was alive and visiting the United States from Poland. Investigators then contacted the Department of Homeland Security, where staff confirmed Moryn’s identity and the validity of his travel visa.
As of Tuesday morning Moryn called South Lake Tahoe Police Department (SLTPD) to confirm he was safe and was traveling to several areas of the United States during his visit. Moryn presented himself to local Missouri law enforcement authorities, who independently confirmed his status in order to close this case.
According to investigators, Moryn explained that, while on the rented paddle board on Lake Tahoe, a personal water craft came close enough to him to cause a significant wake. This wake, combined with strong winds blowing across the water at the time, caused Moryn to fall off of the board into the cold water. The wind quickly carried his paddle board away from him. Moryn was not wearing a life jacket. He felt it was safer to swim to shore rather than to exhaust himself in an effort to retrieve the board. Once safely ashore he believed any attempt to find and retrieve the rented paddle board would have been useless. He abandoned the board to Lake Tahoe and returned the oar to the business where he rented the board with no further explanation. Shortly afterward Moryn left the Tahoe area to continue his travels. SLTPD is returning Moryn’s GoPro camera to him via the mail.
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department credits the public response to this case for helping significantly in its ability to locate and confirm Moryn’s identity and safety.