9/3/03 5:47 PM Inches: 7.5 REGULAR BC-NV-TahoeDrowning 09-03 0320

TAHOMA, Calif. (AP) -- Sheriff's deputies are investigating the drowning of a 70-year-old California man in Lake Tahoe, the fourth drowning there in a month -- all without life jackets.

Louis Anthony Disanto, who lived in the San Mateo area, was found Tuesday near the water's edge at Homeowners Beach in Tahoma on the lake's west shore about 8 miles south of Tahoe City, Placer County Sheriff's Detective Helen Thomson said Wednesday.

Disanto had been vacationing with his family at their second home at Lake Tahoe. A neighbor saw him rowing a dingy out to his boat moored near the beach at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The neighbor returned a half-hour later and spotted Disanto's dingy half full of water near the pier. The neighbor searched the area with binoculars and found Disanto floating face down near the dingy, Thomson said.

CPR efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

An initial investigation indicates he may have been attempting to board his pleasure boat from the dingy when he fell in the water and was unable to climb back in, Thomson said.

Michael Lyke, a detective and a member of Placer County's dive rescue team, said wearing a floatation device may not have prevented the accident.

"But it would have increased the likelihood of survival," Lyke said. "Everyone should wear a personal flotation device while participating in water and boating activities."

Three people drowned earlier this month at Lake Tahoe in two separate incidents.

On Aug. 9, a San Francisco Bay area man drowned after jumping into Tahoe a quarter mile off South Lake Tahoe from a rented ski boat.

Three days earlier, a Bay area couple died after a rented boat capsized on Tahoe's east shore.

None of the three victims was wearing a life jacket.


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