The El Dorado County Sheriff’s patrol boat responded to a call of multiple kayakers possibly in distress near Camp Richardson on Oct. 4 at 6:11 p.m.
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Two deputies and two search and rescue volunteers responded, a press release stated. A lake wind advisory had been issued for Lake Tahoe and the weather was clear and windy. Just after leaving Tahoe Keys Marina, they encountered rough seas, 2-to-4-foot swells.
The citizen that reported continued giving updates as the rescue team approached, advising that two kayakers were in the water with their respective kayaks overturned near the Valhalla recreation area. Another kayaker was upright and attempted to assist the other two.
Upon arrival, the patrol boat’s crew found one upright kayaker and one overturned kayak. A male subject was on top of the overturned kayak. He appeared to be “in medical distress and almost lifeless,” the press release stated. Meanwhile, the upright kayaker seemed to have difficulty paddling towards the shore.
One of the search and rescue volunteers, wearing a dry suit, jumped in the water. With the assistance of those still on the boat, they were able to get the distressed kayaker onto the boat, where he was taken to the Camp Richardson pier and picked up by South Lake Tahoe Fire Department paramedics. He was transported to Barton Hospital.
A CALSTAR helicopter arrived and assisted with the search for the missing kayaker. The kayaker was found safe on shore at Whiskey Cove.
The distressed kayaker was treated for hypothermia and later released from the hospital.