South Lake Tahoe police say they believe a Rio Linda man whose body was found floating in Lake Tahoe on Tuesday may have died after his kayak capsized.
Police received a call at 4:49 p.m. from family members of 43-year-old Paul Anthony Aguirre, who had been paddling in a privately owned kayak in the area of El Dorado Beach. Family members had discovered his vacant kayak floating in the lake, several hundred yards off shore. His life jacket was inside the kayak, according to a Police Department news release.
The South Lake Tahoe Police Department’s marine unit arrived within minutes, police said. Several employees from the Timber Cove Marina also were alerted to the missing kayaker and helped search in another vessel.
Marina employees found Aguirre floating in the water without a life jacket. Police said he was not breathing. The marina employees brought him into their boat and began CPR while taking him to the Timber Cover Pier.
Officers with the Police Department’s marine unit took over the CPR effort until South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue and medics arrived at the pier to relieve them. Life-saving rescue efforts continued for more than a half-hour but failed to revive Aguirre, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the official cause of death will be determined later by a medical examiner.
They said the initial investigation indicates that the kayak likely capsized in the 13 to 15 mph sustained winds on the lake. There was an estimated 1-foot chop wave presence all around the area Tuesday afternoon, and the water temperature in the area was 69 degrees, police said. Aguirre was found at the water’s surface, approximately 300 yards off the shoreline of El Dorado Beach, where the depth was about 10 feet.
Cold water shock can pose an immediate and potentially deadly threat to people who are unexpectedly immersed, police cautioned. They urge people to take note of weather conditions, including wind and water temperature, to wear a life jacket and to try to stay in the company of someone else when engaged in activities on the water.