Queen freed from sandbar | RecordCourier.com

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Queen freed from sandbar

The Tahoe Queen became stuck in shallow water on Aug. 4, 2014, not far off the coast of Regan Beach in South Lake Tahoe.

The Tahoe Queen returned to harbor under its own power on Tuesday running aground on Monday afternoon.

Four commercial salvage boats rotated the Queen into position, and then towed the vessel off a sandbar and into deeper water at about 5:30 p.m., according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Queen ran aground with 296 passengers aboard about a quarter mile off Regan Beach in South Lake Tahoe, and reported it was in trouble at 3:37 p.m.

Rescue boatcrews from Station Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe Police, Douglas County Sheriffs, El Dorado County Sheriffs, and Vessel Assist transferred all passengers and nonessential crew from the Queen to shore at Ski Run Marina where the tour paddlewheeler is based.

"An investigation is underway looking at all possible contributing factors, just one of which could be lower than average water levels," said Cmdr. Andrew Williamson, chief of prevention at Sector San Francisco. "At all times, boaters need to exercise caution when operating in Lake Tahoe, especially during these potentially lower than normal water levels."