Subject of woman overboard call found safe at home

Kurt Hildebrand / Record Courier

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — A 911 call reporting a woman had gone overboard from a Lake Tahoe pontoon boat on Thursday was confirmed to be unfounded after deputies found her taking a nap at her house.

Douglas County Dispatch received a call at around 6:30 p.m. from the operator of the boat reporting his wife had fallen off the boat and had been in the Lake for around 10 minutes. He told dispatchers he couldn’t see her anywhere, according to a Douglas County Sheriff’s Report obtained by The Record-Courier.

While mustering first responders from around the Lake, including the U.S. Coast Guard, to search for the woman, deputies checked the man’s home in Gardnerville and another at Zephyr Cove, where his wife was found taking a nap.

She said that she and a few friends were on the boat and that she became annoyed with the man’s behavior, so he dropped her off at Marla Bay Pier around 5 p.m.

He then headed back out onto the Lake alone.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard was trying to contact the man, who was operating the boat in an erratic manner, pulling away and then stopping before finally yielding.

He had no memory of dropping his wife off and insisted she fell into the Lake. Searchers, concerned that perhaps someone else was on the boat, continued to look, but found no one.

He was taken into custody for operating a vessel under the influence and resisting a public officer and was taken back to shore and then to the Stateline Jail.

He refused to consent to a test, so a warrant was issued for a blood draw. He was booked on a charge misdemeanor resisting. Based on the results of the blood test, he could face a boating while intoxicated charge, another misdemeanor.

It was the second boat rescue off Douglas County’s shore with Lake Tahoe in two days.

Seven people were rescued from a sinking yellow and white boat by Samaritans about a half mile off Zephyr Cove Beach around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Everyone was wearing life vests and Tahoe-Douglas firefighters said no one was hurt. The boat is on the bottom of the Lake and the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating.

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