Alcohol not a contributing factor in drowning death at Lake of the Pines |

Alcohol not a contributing factor in drowning death at Lake of the Pines

While a Lake of the Pines man who drowned Sept. 1 had been drinking, toxicology results did not list alcohol as a contributing factor in his death, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Rob Bringolf, the chief deputy coroner.

Paul Scott, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene after going overboard from a boat on Lake of the Pines.

Preliminary findings released in September showed the cause of Scott’s death was drowning. Contacted Tuesday, Bringolf said the toxicology report indicated a blood alcohol content of 0.22%.

“That doesn’t tell us anything about his cognitive ability,” Bringolf said, adding Scott was not driving the boat at the time he fell into the water. “Alcohol was not listed as a contributing factor in his death.”

Witnesses described a chaotic scene after news began spreading that a man had gone overboard and had not come back up. The murkiness of the water reportedly hampered rescue efforts for Scott, with a prolonged recovery effort that included residents at the scene who had been attending the annual Music at the Lake, firefighters from Cal Fire and the Higgins Area Fire Protection District, the Nevada County Sheriff’s dive team and a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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