Firefighters and rescue personnel resumed their search Saturday for a paddle boarder who went missing Friday off the west shore of Lake Tahoe in windy conditions.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office said Mark Ma, 21, was with several University of Nevada, Reno, football players Friday on a paddle board trip about 1.7 miles offshore when the group began struggling with high winds that caused 3- to 5-foot swells.
Crews were called shortly before 3:30 p.m. Friday to Obexer’s Marina West Shore, about 700 yards from the shoreline, North Tahoe Fire Protection District officials said.
A sheriff’s statement Saturday said Obexer’s Marina staff saw the group was in danger and headed out to rescue them. While heading toward the group they saw Ma by his paddle board to the north of the marina, toward the Homewood buoy field.
Ma was the most experienced paddle boarder, sheriff’s authorities said. The others in his group had washed off their boards, so Ma had headed to shore for help.
After rescuing the group, Obexer’s staff returned to where they had seen Ma. They found his board adrift and Ma missing.
He was wearing only swim trunks and did not have a personal flotation device.
Authorities said they plan to use specialized side-scan sonar equipment capable of soundings to a 300-foot depth, assisted by divers.
Several agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and Washoe and El Dorado County sheriff’s offices, assisted in the search.
Helicopters from CalStar and the Navy conducted air searches.