Sheriffs rescue 'distressed' kayakers near Valhalla
On October 4, 2013 at 6:11pm a citizen reported to the Sheriff’s Office that multiple kayakers were in the water and were possibly in distress near Camp Richardson. On this date a lake wind advisory had been issued on Lake Tahoe. The weather was clear and very windy.
The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office patrol boat responded to the area manned with two deputies and two search and rescue volunteers. Shortly after getting under way from the Tahoe Keys Marina, they encountered rough seas with 2 to 4 foot swells. While responding to the scene the reporting party continued to make status updates as to the persons in distress. Two of the kayakers were in the water and two kayaks were overturned. One additional kayaker was upright and attempting to assist the others. The location was now identified as being near the Valhalla recreational area.
When the patrol boat arrived on scene they found one upright kayaker and one overturned kayak. A male subject was lying on top of the overturned kayak and he appeared to be in medical distress and almost lifeless. The upright kayaker was having difficulty paddling towards shore. A search and rescue volunteer, equipped with a dry suit, entered the water and along with deck hands were able to get the disabled kayaker on board the patrol boat. The patrol boat transported the disabled kayaker to the Camp Richardson pier where he was picked up by South Lake Tahoe Fire Department paramedics who transported him to Barton Hospital.
A CALSTAR helicopter responded to the area to search for another kayaker who was part of the group but that kayaker was found safe on shore at Whiskey Cove.
The disabled kayaker was treated for hypothermia and later released from Barton Hospital.