Sierra claims two teenagers over Fourth of July weekend

Douglas Sheriff's Boat Marine 7 responded to a drowning at Secret Cove in Lake Tahoe on Monday. Photo provided by Provided by ©2021 Mike Hazlip

Douglas Sheriff's Boat Marine 7 responded to a drowning at Secret Cove in Lake Tahoe on Monday. Photo provided by Provided by ©2021 Mike Hazlip

Two 17-year-olds died in Sierra mishaps less than 50 miles apart during the Fourth of July weekend.

Alpine County Undersheriff Tom Minder said Haydn Miguel came up missing on July 3. His body was found after two days of searching.

“Search and rescue teams from around the state responded to our request for mutual aid,” Minder said. “Approximately 40 volunteer searchers and search manager worked throughout the day on July 4.”

On Monday, the search sent Alpine County deputies and an Alpine County search and rescue K9 into the drainage of the West Fork of the Carson River on the east side of Lost Lakes.

After two hours, Miguel was found about 300 feet below the cliff edge.

A Greenbrae, Calif., resident drowned in Lake Tahoe on Monday afternoon just a few hours after Miguel was found, according to Washoe County authorities.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office identified the teen as Kyle Kawashima, of who was out boating with his friends when he was attempting to switch from one seat to another and went over the side of the boat.

Douglas County Dispatch received a call around 6:20 p.m. Monday after Kawashima fell from the boat near Secret Cove, while it was moving and began to struggle.

His friends were unable to reach Kawashima, and he began to struggle after his friends were unable to reach him.

Tahoe-Douglas and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office boats responded to the report.

“They [DCSO] were able to get them ashore and began life saving measures,” said Washoe County Medical Examiner Operations Manager Justin Norton. “But unfortunately were unsuccessful and he died in route to the local hospital in Incline Village.”

All three agencies responded to Secret Cove, which is in Carson City’s portion of Lake Tahoe.

According to the medical examiner the cause of death was accidental drowning, and the incident is being investigated by the Nevada Department of Wildlife with assistance from Washoe County.

It is unknown if the occupants of the boat were intoxicated or consuming alcohol. Toxicology reports will confirm in the coming weeks, officials said.

Boating Education Coordinator Aaron Meyer said that while these accidents can happen, they are able to be avoided through wearing a life jacket when riding on boats.

“When you’re on the water,” Meyer said, “the law says that anyone over 12 doesn’t require it. They just have to have the jackets on the boat. But if this accident shows us anything, it shows us the jacket on the boat doesn’t do anybody any good if they get ejected.”

Meyer also suggests taking boating education classes any time before operating a boat in order to promote safety both on and off the water.



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