Coast Guard rescues North Shore boaters |

Coast Guard rescues North Shore boaters

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three people who were left bobbing in Lake Tahoe nearly a mile from shore after their boat capsized on Sunday evening.

The officers came upon the trio during a routine North Shore patrol at 6:12 p.m., just as one of the swimmers, who was not wearing a life jacket, was going under the water, said Josh Martin, the executive petty officer at the Tahoe City station of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The three individuals were waving their arms for help, Martin said.

Officers pulled all three individuals onto the Coast Guard boat, and towed the capsized vessel back to shore.

Martin, who said there have already been seven deaths on the lake so far this year, said the trio was fortunate.

“It could have been a lot worse. Only one wasn’t wearing a life jacket,” said Martin. “99 percent of the time a life jacket would have saved” the people who have drowned in Lake Tahoe.

In an unrelated incident, the Coast Guard worked with California Highway Patrol to arrest a man who was allegedly boating under the influence of alcohol Sunday night.

Martin said Coast Guard officers watched a man run his motorboat aground on the mud flat in front of the U.S. Coast Guard station.

The officers who responded smelled a “strong odor of alcohol,” according to Martin, and turned the man over to the CHP.

CHP administered a blood/alcohol test, and the Tahoma resident allegedly registered a .15, nearly twice the legal limit in California, said Martin.

He was arrested and Coast Guard officials towed his boat from the scene.