Search begins for man missing after paddleboard found adrift on Lake Tahoe (updated)
Rescue crews are searching for a man whose rented paddleboard, along with a GoPro camera, a selfie stick and a life jacket, was found adrift on Lake Tahoe Wednesday evening.
According to the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, a boater found the board about a half-mile from Timber Cove Marina. The lake’s depth there is about 17 feet.
“In the area where the board was discovered, there exists a drop off from relatively shallow water … to an area of the lake which is several hundred feet deep,” according to an SLTPD news release. “Any chance of a successful visual search of deep water will be impossible.”
The board had been rented from the South Tahoe Standup Paddle business on Harrison Avenue in South Lake Tahoe, police said.
The board was rented at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday by a man who identified himself only as “Morym.”
Police say the man had a thick foreign accent of unidentified origin. The renter paid cash and did not leave a credit card, phone number or any other identifying information with the business.
South Tahoe Standup Paddle contacted police at 10:10 p.m. and began a shoreline search in the darkness with negative results.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office will assist a South Tahoe marine unit with conducting a water search Thursday morning.
On Thursday, officials said they located the board’s paddle in 8 feet of water, near where the board was found.
The missing person’s GoPro camera included a video selfie taken the top of the Heavenly Ski Resort, according to police.
The camera also includes photos of the man and another unidentified person, likely taken recently in the Lake Tahoe region.
Included on the GoPro camera are photos and videos which span a period of at least the past six months. Several of these have been taken in other countries, including Italy and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates,” officials said. “Given the heavy accent of the missing person, we believe he may be a visitor to our area rather than a local.”
The investigation is being handled as a missing person case at this time, although the SUP renter remains unidentified and has not been reported by anyone associated with him as being missing.
If anyone has information about his identity or whereabouts, or that of the other man in the photos, call SLTPD dispatch at 530-542-6100.