1 drowning, 1 near-drowning at Sand Harbor this week

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 7/31 10:03 pm
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- One man drowned and another nearly did at Sand Harbor State Park on Lake Tahoe's east shore this week. The accidents happened within two days of each other.

A 42-year-old man drowned on Monday. He was swimming about 50 yards off shore in Diver's Cove when the accident happened. On Wednesday, a 19-year-old nearly drowned in the same area, swimming next to the Sand Harbor boat ramp. "The facts that we've gathered at this point, they are not related," said Lieutenant Jeffrey Clark of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

Clark said both cases are still under investigation, but alcohol does not appear to be a factor in either one. "Both situations, the swimmers were swimming for several minutes in the lake before the drowning, and appeared to get fatigued or something happened to them and they became in distressed."

Clark said he is not a medical expert, but believes a lot of people underestimate the temperature of the water in Lake Tahoe. "Coupled with the altitude of Lake Tahoe and often times when they’re out swimming, they get fatigued a lot quicker because of the cold water."

Clark said drownings can happen anywhere, not just at Sand Harbor. "People need to understand that it’s certainly not because it’s Sand Harbor. Sand Harbor draws the biggest crowd on the north shore because it’s the largest public beach."

Sand Harbor is fully staffed with rangers and lifeguards. Still, Clark stresses the importance of wearing life jackets. He adds the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District revived the 19-year-old that nearly drowned Wednesday. The unidentified man is currently in critical condition at Renown Regional Medical Center.
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