Paddle boarder rescued from Upper Truckee River in South Lake Tahoe |

Paddle boarder rescued from Upper Truckee River in South Lake Tahoe

SLTFR responded to a paddle boarder in distress on the Upper Truckee River Wednesday.
South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue / Facebook

Police and fire officials rescued a female paddle boarder from the chilly waters of the Upper Truckee River Wednesday.

The paddle boarder, an adult female, was out with several friends when she hit a downed tree and was knocked off her board near the bridge over U.S. 50, South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Spencer told the Tribune Wednesday. The woman was tethered to the board and started to drown after losing energy while fighting the strong flow of the river.

According to provisional USGS data, the Upper Truckee River was flowing at 756 cubic feet per second at noon Wednesday.

When SLTFR arrived on scene South Lake Tahoe police officers had already pulled the woman from the river and started performing CPR. She was eventually transported to Barton Memorial Hospital. Spencer, noting the urgency of the situation and the lack of formal identification, did not know the woman’s name.

CPR was performed the entire way to the hospital.

“I can just say she was still a viable, treatable patient when we turned her over,” Spencer said, adding he was unaware of her current condition Wednesday evening.

Given the strong flow, the cold temperatures and the numerous obstacles on the Upper Truckee River, Spencer said the incident should serve as a note of caution.

“You have to be super, super careful … this time of year we have extremely cold water and very high flow rates.”

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