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Citrus Heights Man Drowns in Lake Tahoe after Kayak Capsizes


Citrus Heights Man Drowns in Lake Tahoe after Kayak Capsizes

I’m Ed Smith, a South Lake Tahoe Personal Injury Lawyer. A Citrus Heights man drowns when his kayak is tipped on Tuesday, July 4 while on Lake Tahoe with his wife.

Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife, friends, and family during this difficult time.

What Happened?

41-year-old Weaver was with his wife in a two person kayak on the 4the of July. The wind started to pick up and the water began to get rough. The windy conditions soon worsened to a level where white capped waves appeared on the lake. These white caps proved too much for the two in the skinny kayak and the craft capsized. The Citrus Heights couple was thrown into the water just off of the shore by Beach Drive. William was not wearing a life jacket and went under the water.

Firefighters from the South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Battalion were called to the scene at about 3:30 p.m. The Fire Rescue personnel, along with responders from multiple other agencies performed the rescue and pulled William Weaver from the water. They immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the unconscious man and transported him to Barton Memorial Hospital. Despite the best efforts of the rescuers and medical professionals, William Weaver was pronounced dead at the hospital later that day.

How Did This Happen?

With the warm summer months drowning risk increases greatly as more people enjoy water activities such as swimming, boating, surfing, and hiking near bodies of water. Some situations are puzzling as to how victims drowned, especially if they were a strong swimmer or not far from land and safety. One thing to note, swimming in natural bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and the ocean is very different from swimming in a contained environment such as a pool. Many different factors play a part in these drastic differences.

Factors to Consider While Swimming in Natural Bodies of Water

The first factor that affects how we swim is temperature. Average temperatures of swimming pools are between 77 degrees and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface temperature of Lake Tahoe on the day of the drowning was 64 degrees and gets colder every inch you go below the surface. With colder temperatures, your body can suffer from the cold shock which causes you to take uncontrollably deep breaths. If you swallow water while taking these deep breaths, you can fill your lungs with water instead of air and possibly drown. Hypothermia can also set in quickly while in cold water which saps the strength you need for swimming.

Another big difference is the presence of currents, waves and large objects in the water. Waves in the ocean or a windy lake make it extremely hard to swim if you are not used to, and prepared for the high swells. Learning how to use the waves while swimming takes practice and experience, not something you can learn if you are panicking after capsizing your boat. River currents can be deceptively strong and can sweep your feet right out from underneath you. Fallen trees and logs can be extremely dangerous in rivers. A person can become trapped between the current and the net like branches of a fallen tree. Many people have drowned and been trapped under the water because of these “sweeper trees”.

Ultimately, wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket is the best way to prevent drowning while enjoying the popular summer aquatic activities. Make sure that everyone involved has one that fits properly and is wearing it whenever they are in or on the water.

South Lake Tahoe Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a South Lake Tahoe Personal Injury Lawyer. My thoughts go out to William’s wife, family, and everyone else involved in this tragic accident. Please call my office for free and friendly advice for any personal injury or wrongful death cases. You can reach me at 530-392-9400 or toll-free at 800-404-5400., a website I created, is full of helpful legal information and blogs are written daily with local news and tips to keep you safe.

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Image Source: By Kvhuegel – Wikimedia Commons

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