Federal agency removing partially sunken boat from Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A federal agency is removing a partially sunken boat this week after it received a report it may be leaking fluid into Lake Tahoe.

High Sierra Marine personnel on Tuesday morning start the process of removing a partially sunken boat from Lake Tahoe’s South Shore. Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contracted High Sierra Marine out of Tahoe City to raise a vessel that was first reported sunk in mid-January about 300 yards off the shore of Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe.

Multiple unsuccessful attempts have been made to contact the owner, officials said.

The EPA is spending about $20,000 to remove the 40-foot recreational vessel and associated debris.

High Sierra Marine personnel arrived on scene at about 10 a.m. Tuesday morning to start the process of removing the boat. They were battling a steady wind with about 1-foot waves crashing onto Pope Beach.

Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe examined the boat when it was originally reported sunk in January and found no pollution being leaked into the lake.

The action is being taken under EPA’s emergency response authority. The agency’s emergency response program responds to oil spills; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents; and large-scale national emergencies, including homeland security incidents. In all such incidents, EPA coordinates closely with state and local agencies.

The EPA is removing the boat in coordination with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response.