Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
EPA removes sunken, oil-leaking boat from Lake Tahoe

EPA removes sunken, oil-leaking boat from Lake Tahoe

  • Updated
  • 0
EPA removes sunken, oil-leaking boat from Lake Tahoe

A crew for High Sierra Marine Inc. recovers a sunk boat , Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, of the shore of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The boat sunk in January and had been leaking oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hired the contractor to raise the abandoned 40-foot recreational vessel in coordination with the El Dorado County Sheriff, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — A crew for a private contractor hired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed an abandoned boat from Lake Tahoe Tuesday that sank off the lake’s south shore in January and was believed to be leaking oil.

The 40-foot (12 meters) recreational vessel was first reported Jan. 15 to have sunk in about 15 feet (4.5 meters) of water about 300 yards (274 meters) offshore from Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe, the EPA said.

The agency planned to spend about $20,000 on the effort in conjunction with the El Dorado County Sheriff, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

Repeated efforts by multiple agencies to identify and contact the owner of the vessel had been unsuccessful, EPA spokeswoman Margot Perez Sullivan said.

A crew for High Sierra Marine Inc. began the recovery effort at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, she said in an email to The Associated Press.

The recovery crew battled steady winds and about foot-tall waves crashing onto Pope Beach before the recovery was completed Tuesday afternoon, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported.

Jeff Cowen, spokesman for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, told the Reno Gazette-Journal the boat will be taken to the U.S. Coast Guard’s facility in Tahoe City, where law enforcement will oversee the boat’s disposal or auction.

The Tribune reported the Coast Guard examined the boat when it first was reported sunk and found no pollution leaking into the lake. But the EPA said it received a report on Feb. 15 indicating the vessel had started leaking oil.

Perez Sullivan didn't have any immediate estimate Tuesday of the amount of oil that may have leaked.

Cowen told the Gazette-Journal last week that when the Coast Guard revisited the boat again in February, the amount of oil around the boat was “minuscule.”

“We are taking it seriously, regardless of the amount,” Cowen said.

The boat was moored to a privately owned buoy, but the buoy owner was not aware of how the boat got there and is denying any responsibility, Cowen said.

Two weeks after the boat was reported, the sheriff’s office discovered its owner is dead and his next of kin “all said they don’t want anything to do with it,” Cowen said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general says the Justice Department must ensure laws are “fairly and faithfully enforced” and the rights of all Americans are protected, while reaffirming an adherence to policies to protect the department’s political independence.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Missed intelligence was to blame for the outmanned Capitol defenders' failure to anticipate the violent mob that invaded the iconic building and halted certification of the presidential election on Jan. 6, the officials who were in charge of security that day said Tuesday in their first public testimony on the insurrection.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s first bilateral meeting with Canada’s Justin Trudeau since taking office was high on policy, low on pomp and featured a very large swipe at Biden's predecessor as the coronavirus forced the two leaders to convene virtually Tuesday rather than gathering with customary Oval Office fanfare.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate parliamentarian dealt a potentially lethal blow Thursday to Democrats’ drive to hike the minimum wage, deciding that the cherished progressive goal must fall from a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill the party is trying to speed through Congress, Senate Democratic aides said.

Recommended for you

Welcome to the Conversation

No name-calling, personal insults or threats. No attacks based on race, gender, ethnicity, etc. No writing with your caps lock on – it's screaming. Keep on topic and under 1,500 characters. No profanity or vulgarity. Stay G- or PG-rated.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

News Alerts