A 47-year-old man from Sebastopol, Calif., drowned while swimming across Upper Angora Lake Thursday afternoon.
"Three witnesses saw him go under and come up gasping and yelling for help," said El Dorado County Sheriff's Deputy Terry Fleck. "His family was with him. Unfortunately they watched the entire event."
Rescuers found Stephen Whittle more than an hour after he went under water. Three divers searched the cold murky waters of the lake and found Whittle 25 feet down and about 15 feet from the shore, Fleck said.
Upper Angora Lake is located south of Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe.
Fleck said the water temperature at that depth was 42 degrees so paramedics began CPR immediately in hope that the cold water preserved his life. Whittle was careflighted to Barton Memorial Hospital where doctors warmed his body, but failed to revive him.
Whittle and his family were on vacation in Lake Tahoe Basin staying at North Shore's Carnelian Bay. Whittle reportedly told his family as he left the beach nearest resort that he was going swimming.
El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team, Lake Valley Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service all assisted at the scene.