Staying safe on the water |

Staying safe on the water

On Wednesday afternoon, there was a close call when a couple of kayakers overturned in Lake Tahoe near Incline Beach.

The Coast Guard responded along with Douglas County’s Marine 7 and South Lake Tahoe’s patrol boat.

Fortunately, the Coast Guard got there in time to scoop up one of the kayakers and a Good Samaritan got the other one.

According to the Coast Guard, neither of the kayakers was wearing a life vest.

While summer 2015 so far has seen a death from just about every sort of misadventure possible in the region, we’ve yet to hear word of a drowning at Lake Tahoe.

As the summer finally heats up, we expect that Tahoe’s popularity as a place to cool off will increase.

That means people will be out on boats, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and every other sort of watercraft imaginable.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Tahoe sees a half-dozen deaths a year due to drowning or boat mishaps.

With the number of drownings at Tahoe down to just one or two a summer over the last few years, we fear we’re in for a sudden spike.

We believe that seatbelts save lives on land, and we’ve seen proof. On the water, personal flotation devices also save lives.

Having fun on the water at Tahoe or any Sierra lake can go bad quickly. A little extra insurance in the form of a life jacket is an inexpensive way to keep safe.

Even in the heat of summer, Tahoe is cold enough to immobilize someone in seconds. Having a means to stay afloat when you aren’t able to tread water is the difference between survival and tragedy.