Investigations ongoing into Lake Tahoe hiking, diving deaths |

Investigations ongoing into Lake Tahoe hiking, diving deaths

Claire Cudahy
Airman 1st Class Tyler Oimoen passed away on Sept. 5 after falling while hiking near Cascade Falls.
Courtesy / Beale Air Force Base |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A 21-year-old Airman from Beale Air Force Base died the afternoon of Sept. 5 after falling while hiking near Cascade Falls.

According to Lake Valley Fire Department, who responded to the call along with El Dorado County Search and Rescue, Airman 1st Class Tyler Oimoen fell 40 feet from granite rocks, then tumbled another 60 feet on the rocky terrain.

LVFD and El Dorado County Search and Rescue hiked to the spot where Oimoen lay, but were unable to save him.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter removed his body.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Airman Oimoen’s family, coworkers and friends,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Mountcastle of Beale Air Force Base near Marysville, Calif. “During this difficult time, we are caring for his family and coworkers with the support of the Beale community.”

Oimoen was assigned to the 9th Force Support Squadron as a food service apprentice. He came from Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and had been stationed there for over a year.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Cascade Falls is most commonly accessed from the Bayview Trail opposite Inspiration Point near Emerald Bay. Though the hike is categorized as easy to moderate, its sloping rocks can be slippery.

Diver, 63, dies while exploring SS Tahoe

A 63-year-old diver died on Labor Day due to an unexplained scuba diving accident in Lake Tahoe.

On Sept. 5, crews from Douglas County Sheriff’s Marine 7, Washoe County Sheriff’s Marine 9 and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol vessel responded to a distress call for a scuba diver near Glenbrook Bay on Tahoe’s southeast shore.

Washoe County Sheriff officials found the man — eventually identified as Michael Stephen Majewski, 63, of Sacramento, on the diving boat being given CPR.

Majewski was taken to the Glenbrook Pier where Tahoe Douglas Fire Department paramedics attempted to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead soon after.

According to officials at Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Majewski was diving with two friends at the wreckage of the SS Tahoe, in roughly 350 feet of water. All three were apparently experienced divers and had done a similar dive at the SS Tahoe the day before.

However, on Sept. 5, the victim made an emergency ascent to the surface, and was unconscious by the time he breached the surface.

An investigation is ongoing.

The SS Tahoe is a 169-foot steamship that operated in Lake Tahoe towards the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. The ship was scuttled in 1940.

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