A passenger vessel, Tahoe Queen, ran aground with reportedly 296 passengers aboard in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Members from Coast Guard Sector San Francisco continued the investigation and oversight of salvage efforts for Tahoe Queen, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Sector San Francisco.
U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco and a commercial salvage team successfully removed the Tahoe Queen, a riverboat-style passenger vessel, from a sandbar off Regan Beach in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Tuesday afternoon.
Watchstanders at Sector San Francisco received a report Monday at 3:37 p.m. from Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe that a passenger vessel, Tahoe Queen, ran aground with 296 passengers aboard. Rescue boatcrews from Station Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe Police, Douglas County Sheriffs, El Dorado County Sheriffs, and Vessel Assist transferred all passengers and nonessential crew from the Tahoe Queen to shore at Ski Run Marina in South Lake Tahoe.
"An investigation is underway looking at all possible contributing factors, just one of which could be lower than average water levels," said Cmdr. Andrew Williamson, chief of prevention at Sector San Francisco. "At all times, boaters need to exercise caution when operating in Lake Tahoe, especially during these potentially lower than normal water levels."
Around 5:30 p.m., four commercial salvage boats rotated Tahoe Queen into an optimum position, then towed the vessel into deeper water. The distressed vessel was then able to transit back to the Ski Run Marina under its own power.