Search on after rented paddle board found adrift at Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe, Calif. — Windy conditions have prompted local law enforcement to halt their participation in a search for a man whose rented paddle board, along with a Go-Pro camera, a selfie stick and a life jacket, was found adrift by a Lake Tahoe boater on Wednesday evening.
Douglas, South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado boats were aiding the U.S. Coast Guard in the search until the wind picked up around 1 p.m.
The board was found a half-mile from Timber Cove Marina. The lake’s depth there is about 17 feet, according to the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
According to the police department, the area where the board was discovered drops off from relatively shallow water to an area of the lake which is several hundred feet deep.
“Any chance of a successful visual search of deep water will be impossible,” according to Lt. Brian Williams.
The board had been rented from the South Tahoe Standup Paddle business on Harrison Avenue in South Lake Tahoe. The boater secured the paddle board with its associated gear and returned it to the business around 6 p.m.
A rental company representative began trying to track down the renter of the board. The board was rented at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday by a man who identified himself only as “Morym.”
Police say the man had a thick foreign accent of unidentified origin. The renter paid cash and did not leave a credit card, phone number or any other identifying information.
Authorities have released a photo from the man’s Go-Pro in the hopes of determining his identity. Also released was a photo of him and another man at the Heavenly Gondola.
“Included on the GoPro camera are photos and videos which span a period of at least the past six months,” Williams said. “Several of these have been taken in other countries, including Italy and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Given the heavy accent of the missing person, we believe he may be a visitor to our area rather than a local.”
South Tahoe Standup Paddle contacted police at 10:10 p.m. and began a shoreline search in the darkness with negative results.
The investigation is being handled as a missing person case at this time, although the renter remains unidentified and has not been reported by anyone associated with him as being missing.
Authorities are asking for the public’s help to find and identify the man. If anyone has information about his identity or whereabouts, call South Lake Tahoe dispatch at 530-542-6100.