Nevada County coroner report not yet released in Lake of the Pines death
Witnesses described a chaotic scene after news began spreading Sunday evening that a man had gone overboard into Lake of the Pines and had not come back up.
The murkiness of the water reportedly hampered rescue efforts for Paul Scott, 42, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Pathology results were not yet available as of late Tuesday afternoon, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Lt. Rob Bringolf, the chief deputy coroner.
Donations have continued to pour in for Scott’s family after friends organized a GoFundMe page. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 277 donors had raised more than $22,000, and an online Meal Train set up through the end of October was completely filled.
Firefighters from Cal Fire and the Higgins Area Fire Protection District had responded just before 6:15 p.m. Sunday to the lake, but Scott initially could not be located, a Higgins spokesman said. The Nevada County sheriff’s dive team was requested, as well as an underwater camera from Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department and a California Highway Patrol helicopter. When Scott was found, efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Witness Angela Walters said scores of families, many of whom were on boats anchored offshore, were attending the annual Music at the Lake event that night.
The band had not been playing very long when Walters heard a man in the water calling out for the music to stop, saying there was a man overboard who had not surfaced.
“It took a couple of minutes for people to catch on,” she said, adding that no one seemed to know what to do.
“A lot of people were trying to dive in and find him.” Walters said. “My friend’s husband dove in, we got him some goggles … He couldn’t see because the water was so full of algae and weeds.”
Walters — whose own husband died at Folsom Lake in 2008 — said she felt a calling to try to comfort Scott’s wife.
“She was very distraught, in shock,” Walters said, adding that she did not approach her but stood nearby, praying for her.
While Walters acknowledged there was no way of knowing whether Scott could have been rescued in time to save his life, she remained upset at the lack of resources available for emergency situations at the lake.
“There was no way for anybody to get to him in time, there was no equipment available, nothing there for anybody to use,” she said. “We think we live in this paradise. … I think it would come as a surprise to people that this could have happened.”
To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.
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