Lake Tahoe luxury yacht sinks at dock |

Lake Tahoe luxury yacht sinks at dock

by Adam Jensen

A three-level, $3.25 million luxury yacht sank at a Lake Tahoe dock overnight.

On Monday morning, the Sierra Rose sat partially submerged at its prominent location near the mouth of the Tahoe Keys Marina. The lowest level of the 86-foot yacht was completely underwater, while the second level of the vessel was partially submerged.

The floating dock leading to the vessel jutted out of the water at a 45 degree angle. What caused the yacht to sink is unknown.

Heather Contreras, a Turlock resident who is staying in the Tahoe Keys, said she heard “a loud and prolonged tearing of metal” sound about 9:30 p.m. as the yacht was either pulling in or leaving its mooring location.

At least 15 people were aboard the vessel at the time, Contreras said.

One passenger yelled “oh no” following the sound, Contreras said.

The yacht did not immediately sink and people remained on the yacht for more than an hour after the metallic sound, Contreras said.

Everyone appeared to be off the Sierra Rose by between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Contreras said.

As recently as 2006, the Sierra Rose was billed as the largest noncommercial boat on Lake Tahoe. The yacht sold at auction for $3.25 million in August 2008 to a bidder from Nevada.

The owner of the yacht could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

The 4,000-square-foot, handcrafted mahogany boat boasts three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, granite fireplaces, marble tile floors, an outdoor hot tub and a helicopter pad.

The yacht can hold about 100 guests in the summer months, according to a online 2008-09 rate sheet. Taking the Sierra Rose on the lake requires a licensed captain, according to the rate sheet.

The vessel is currently listed on the Sotheby’s International Realty website. Renting the yacht costs $1,900 per night, according to the site.

The Sierra Rose was brought to Tahoe in three pieces and assembled on a barge at the Tahoe Keys Marina in the winter of 2005, according to a August 2006 Tribune article.

Crews were on scene Monday morning with a barge-mounted crane assessing the vessel.