A 42-year-old Northern California man died Friday after falling off a paddleboard and drowning in Lake Tahoe, an official said.
Kenneth Campo, 42, of San Mateo, Calif., was about 200 to 300 yards off shore at Sand Harbor State Park when he fell in the water at about 3:45 p.m., said Edwin Lyngar, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Wildife’s law enforcement division.
While the paddleboard was equipped with a life jacket and foot leash, Campo was wearing neither, Lyngar said.
Witnesses said they heard Campo shout once for help after falling, Lyngar said. An employee working with a rental company at Sand Harbor retrieved Campo from about 20 feet of water, but resuscitation efforts from emergency responders were not successful.
Campo was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The incident remains under investigation and is being treated like any boating accident, Lyngar said, because a paddleboard is considered a vessel.
“The important thing to remember about this very tragic accident is that paddlebaords and kayaks are boats … you can drown from them just like you can drown from falling off a boat,” he said. “Life jackets are required to be carried on paddleboards.”
An initial investigation indicates Campo borrowed the paddleboard from someone.
“It may have been rented, but not (by Campo),” Lyngar said. “While the renter received a safety briefing, it doesn’t appear (Campo) got a safety briefing.”
Campo was on the launch side of Sand Harbor in an area where many people kayak and paddleboard in the wake of departing and entering boats. Such activity can be dangerous, Lyngar said, considering there are no lifeguards watching over that area.
MAN, 70, DIES SUNDAY AT TAHOE
A 70-year-old man died Sunday after suffering a medical event while competing in the Lake Tahoe leg of the Sharkfest Swim race near Sand Harbor State Park.
Ken Harmon, public information officer for the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, said the incident occurred Sunday morning. The man was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
It’s unclear if the man drowned or died due to complications from the medical event, Harmon said.
The annual 1-mile race is part of the Sharkfest series, with legs in Boston, San Francisco and other areas. The race formerly took place at Incline and Burnt Cedar beaches in Incline Village.