SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — Two men are dead after separate boating accidents on the same day in South Lake Tahoe.
The area is seeing huge crowds this summer, making it a busier than normal season for first responders. Rescue crews say many people are hitting the water overly confident and underprepared.
South Lake Tahoe is known to be a vacation destination, bringing people from all over to the area. Utah woman Brooke Sanchez is celebrating her honeymoon in Tahoe.
“We’ve been in Tahoe, hiking, a lot of paddleboarding, going to different beaches, it’s been super fun,” said Sanchez.
As indoor activities are restricted in California, more people are hitting the lake.
“It’s been a very busy summer with rescues,” explained South Lake Tahoe Marine Safety Officer, Heather Carlquist.
Officer Carlquist is part of the rescue crew at the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. Her crew has responded to around 10 rescues just this week. Three of those were in one day.
Crews were called out Monday just before 4:00 pm for two people in danger a mile off the Lakeshore Marina. Two people were in the water near their rental boat. One of them, 28-year-old David Castorena, suffered a major injury to his leg. SLTPD said the man was attempting to attach an inflatable tube to the boat but got his leg stuck in the boat’s propeller. He died at the scene.
Another man died in a boating accident on Lake Tahoe the same day. Search and Rescue crews are still investigating his disappearance. They are calling it a recovery mission. Multiple agencies plan to continue searching the lake Friday morning with cadaver dogs and ROV’s to search for his body.
“It’s a real tragedy. We want people to be out there and really enjoy our lake and all the stuff that we have out here but we want to make sure everyone is doing it responsibly,” said Carlquist
Both men rented boats from the same company and were not wearing a life vest. The third rescue call involved another propeller accident. Carlquist propeller accidents are pretty common.
“It’s very common. Again, this was on the same day, so we are really want to make sure people are turning off that engine and anybody in the water wears a life vest,” she said.
Carlquist warns more people should be trained on boat and water safety before going out on the lake.
“It’s pretty common and people that are out there even on a non-motorized boat but on kayaks and stand-up paddles not knowing a lot of the rules,” she explained.
Joe, who is visiting from the Bay Area, plans to rent a boat this weekend to enjoy the lake. He said he is feeling confident but plans to take safety precautions including wearing a life vest.
“If I was a first-timer maybe I would want someone to take me out for the first time and show me how it is done but I feel pretty comfortable,” he said.
While it is not required for renters to have a California Boater Card, locals believe it should be.
“I think there should be something like the DMV does to make sure everyone needs to go out to prove they know how to operate a boat,” said Royce VanDuzer.