Coast Guard suspends search for missing paddle boarder in South Lake Tahoe

Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe crew members participate in two-boat training, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The crew maintains and operates two 25-foot rapid response boats and conducts search and rescue, law enforcement and national defense missions. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sherri Eng.SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. ­­— The Coast Guard suspended the active on-water search for a possible missing paddle boarder in South Lake Tahoe, Thursday.

The Coast Guard will continue to coordinate closely with local law enforcement as they work to locate and determine the identity of the missing person.

At 4:24 p.m. Wednesday responders at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco received notification of a paddle board adrift located in the vicinity of the Timber Cove Marina of Lake Tahoe by a passing vessel.

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe launched a 29-foot Response Boat-Small II boatcrew in coordination with marine units from South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew to conduct a search in the area where the paddle board was found.

Through coordinated efforts, it was determined that the paddle board was a rental belonging to a South Lake Tahoe stand-up paddle board rental company.

After reviewing photos from a Go-Pro camera found on the board and records from the rental shop, it appeared that a Caucasian male, who identified himself as Morym, had rented the board by paying with cash and left no identification or contact information.

After approximately 18 hours of conducting an extensive multi-agency search with five response boats and a helicopter, the search was suspended.

“Suspending a search is always a difficult decision and only made after carefully evaluating the search efforts as a whole,” said Capt. Patrick Nelson, deputy commander, Sector San Francisco. “We searched as long as our resources could, all the way up to their maximum weather parameters today. This was a very challenging case with a lot of ambiguity in regards to the identity of this individual and whether he was still on the water.”

Shore-side search efforts will continue by South Lake Tahoe police and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

The Coast Guard recommends that all mariners wear their life jackets when recreating on the water and that they have an effective means to communicate if they are in distress. If anyone has any information regarding this case of the identity of the missing person, please call the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at 530-542-6100 or the Sector San Francisco Command Center at 415-399-7300.

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