On Nov. 22, a large amphibious barge hauled away the sailboat “Raccoon” that has been embedded along the shore of Lake Tahoe in Kings Beach. The wrecked boat had been abandoned for more than two years while fuel leaked into Lake Tahoe and broken glass, deteriorating wood and paint chips leeched into the lake. Children climbed atop the boat during the summer, compounding an already hazardous situation.
Tahoe Weekly first reported of the ongoing environmental hazard in August 2022 and the quagmire involved in trying to get abandoned and wrecked boats removed from Lake Tahoe. The nonprofit Below the Blue stripped the sailboat of chemicals, garbage and rotting sewage in 2021 to prevent spillage into the lake. Seth Jones, the group’s co-founder, was among many who expressed frustration over why local and state agencies didn’t act quickly to remove wrecked boats.