Suspected drowning victim recovered from Lake Tahoe
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Paul Anthony Aguirre, a 43-year-old man from Rio Linda, California, died Tuesday, July 19, in a suspected drowning incident while kayaking. The victim was vacationing with friends and family.
According to a news release, South Lake Tahoe Police Department received a call at 4:49 p.m. from Aguirre’s family members, who said he was paddling in a privately owned kayak in the El Dorado Beach region.
“Family members discovered the man’s vacant kayak floating in the lake, several hundred yards off shore, and immediately became concerned for him,” the news release said. “A life jacket was still inside the kayak.
“The SLTPD Marine unit was dispatched and arrived in the area within minutes. Several employees from the Timber Cove Marina were also alerted to the circumstances of the missing kayaker, and helped with the search in another vessel. The marina employees located the victim, floating in the water and without a life jacket. The man was unconscious and not breathing. The employees immediately brought the unconscious man into their boat and began CPR efforts while transporting him to the Timber Cove Pier.
“Officers on the SLTPD Marine unit took over CPR efforts on the vessel until South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue and medic personnel arrived at the pier to relieve them. After continuing life-saving rescue efforts for more than a half-hour, the victim still could not be revived. He was pronounced deceased at the scene. An official cause of death will be determined later by a medical examiner.”
It’s likely the kayak capsized on Lake Tahoe in 13-15 mph winds, according to investigators.
“There was an estimated one-foot chop wave presence all around the area yesterday afternoon,” the news release explained. “The water temperature in this area was 69 degrees Fahrenheit. The victim was located at the water’s surface, approximately 300 yards off of the shoreline of El Dorado Beach, where the depth was approximately 10 feet.”
South Lake Tahoe Police Department warns locals and visitors alike of risks associated with lake recreation.
“To enjoy Lake Tahoe fully, it is important to understand that taking appropriate safety precautions is invaluable,” the news release said. “Cold water shock can pose an immediate and potentially deadly threat to those unexpectedly immersed in its cold waters. This is in addition to the risks of hypothermia and exhaustion; both of which can lead to drowning. It is a good practice to take note of the weather conditions, including wind and water temperature, to try to keep in the company of someone else when recreating on the water, and to always wear a life jacket.
“The South Lake Tahoe Police Department would like to extend our condolences to this man’s family and friends. We would also extend our gratitude to the employees of the Timber Cove Marina, who immediately assisted in the search to find and save the victim.”