A couple clinging to a deflated raft on Lake Tahoe were rescued by authorities Thursday.
Washoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies aboard Marine 9 were patrolling just northwest of Thunderbird Lodge at around 3 p.m. when they noticed a number of items, including paddles and shoes, floating on the lake.
The deputies then came upon a man and woman hanging on to a deflated raft about 20 feet off the shore.
Deputies noted the couple were not wearing personal floatation devices nor were they dressed to be in the frigid waters of Lake Tahoe.
The two were rescued from the water and said they were struggling in the water for about 20 minutes. Both refused medical treatment.
With Lake Tahoe’s water temperature hovering around 50, Sheriff Darin Balaam warns anyone heading out onto the lake to know the dangers of cold water.
“The best way for anyone to stay safe while swimming or recreating in Lake Tahoe is to wear a life jacket,” Balaam said in a press release. “Cold water shock is real and can occur suddenly and unexpectedly.”
An average of seven people die in the cold Lake Tahoe water each year, according to the release.