News

Palo Alto man drowns in Lake Tahoe

Theodore Fletcher fell from boat near Meek's Bay

A local businessperson died in Lake Tahoe after falling out of a boat on Thursday, May 5, a spokesperson for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said.

Theodore Fletcher, 58, of Palo Alto, drowned during a boat ride at Lake Tahoe on May 5, 2022. Courtesy Getty Images.

Palo Alto resident Theodore Fletcher, 58, and another person were in a boat near Meek's Bay when they fell into the water. The U.S. Coast Guard, an area fire department and El Dorado County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene.

The other person was able to self-extricate and was not injured, but Fletcher died. The Coast Guard was able to see him at the bottom of the lake in approximately 15 feet of water. They were able to remove him from the water, sheriff spokesperson Sgt. Eric Palmberg said.

Fletcher was pronounced dead at the scene. The official cause of death is drowning. The water temperature in the lake on that day was 46 degrees, according to the website seatemperature.info.

Fletcher was president of Art-Craft Carpet and Linoleum for more than 30 years, according to his LinkedIn page. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a bachelor's degree in economics.

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Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Palo Alto man drowns in Lake Tahoe

Theodore Fletcher fell from boat near Meek's Bay

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, May 11, 2022, 9:53 am
Updated: Wed, May 11, 2022, 10:29 am

A local businessperson died in Lake Tahoe after falling out of a boat on Thursday, May 5, a spokesperson for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said.

Palo Alto resident Theodore Fletcher, 58, and another person were in a boat near Meek's Bay when they fell into the water. The U.S. Coast Guard, an area fire department and El Dorado County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene.

The other person was able to self-extricate and was not injured, but Fletcher died. The Coast Guard was able to see him at the bottom of the lake in approximately 15 feet of water. They were able to remove him from the water, sheriff spokesperson Sgt. Eric Palmberg said.

Fletcher was pronounced dead at the scene. The official cause of death is drowning. The water temperature in the lake on that day was 46 degrees, according to the website seatemperature.info.

Fletcher was president of Art-Craft Carpet and Linoleum for more than 30 years, according to his LinkedIn page. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a bachelor's degree in economics.

Comments

Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2022 at 11:24 am
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on May 11, 2022 at 11:24 am

Very sad. To his family and friends, I am sorry for your loss.

Wear a life jacket, people. My father, an avid sailor, taught me to ALWAYS wear a life jacket. He said many boaters die by drowning when they slip on the boat and hit their heads and go unconscious. I don't know if that happened here, but it's a common boating accident. If you are unconscious in the water due to injury or cold, the jacket will keep your head above water. Wear your life jacket, even if you are a good swimmer. I am a strong competitive swimmer, but Dad always made me don a life jacket on his boat. It's a practice I follow still.


MyFeelz
Registered user
Nixon School
on May 11, 2022 at 6:23 pm
MyFeelz, Nixon School
Registered user
on May 11, 2022 at 6:23 pm

Even though it's May, Lake Tahoe rarely gets above 50 degrees this time of year. As few as five degrees below your regular body temperature, hypothermia can set in, in mere minutes. Since the water temperature that day was 50 degrees below his body temperature, it's highly probable that hypothermia set in very quickly. Even though the cause of death was listed as drowning, it's pretty rare for an adult with even minimum swimming skills to survive 15 minutes in 45 degree water, even if he had a flotation device. I've been to Tahoe, mostly in August, and could barely stand to dip a toe in. I also got a wicked 2nd degree sunburn -- due to its proxmity to the sun. Without sunscreen, it's like being in a barbecue. Tahoe is a place of extremes. Know before you go. May Mr. Fletcher rest in peace.


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