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August 27, 2017 – On June 8, 2017, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office assisted California State Parks with a report of a missing kayaker. The kayaker, Dan Pham, left from Lester Beach on his way to boat camp in Emerald Bay. Pham never arrived.
An extensive search effort was conducted by El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR), El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Marine unit, California State Parks, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office SAR, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Marine unit, United States Coast Guard, and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. During this search, SAR K9 teams located an area of interest off Rubicon Point, but Pham was not located.
On August 26, 2017, a non-profit group called Bruce’s Legacy (from Wisconsin) arrived to assist. Bruce’s Legacy has located 18 drowning victims in just four years by using state of the art side scan sonar, Tow Fish sonar, an underwater remote operating vehicle (ROV), and years of operating experience. Bruce’s Legacy assisted in another recovery in Lake Tahoe in July, and made a recovery at Stampede Reservoir a few days ago. Utilizing their side scan sonar, Bruce’s Legacy located Dan Pham in 245 feet of water off of Rubicon Point, in the area of K9 alerts. Pham’s body was recovered after being brought to the surface by the ROV operated by Bruce’s Legacy. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division and South Lake Tahoe Detectives are handling this investigation.
The Pham family was extremely grateful for the efforts made by everyone and thankful their loved one can be put to rest. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office extends our deepest condolences to the Pham Family.
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