It was a scary afternoon for two families at Eagle Lake Sunday, when high-winds and shallow water stranded eight people about six miles from Gallatin Marina.
According to Sergeant Kevin Jones of the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, the agency received a report of several people in distress on the lake about 3:20p.m.
Two families, consisting of 8 people, were on a pontoon boat when its engine failed about 3.5 miles north of Pikes Point on Eagle Lake.
Not being able to power the boat, Sergeant Jones explained, strong winds and heavy waves put the boat aground.
At the time of response, Eagle Lake was experiencing winds gusting up to 35 MPH and swells in the water of up to four feet.
Jones said that a member of the Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division went to the lake and responded in the department’s enforcement boat.
The two families, including a 5 year-old, were found stranded on the pontoon boat, which had been pushed aground and thrashed by high waves.
All 8 people were safely loaded into the Sheriff’s Office boat and taken to the Gallatin marina with no injuries.
“The families, who were from out of the area, had launched their pontoon boat and jet skis just hours prior to their distress call,” said Sergeant Jones in a press release Sunday, “They planned on staying on the lake for the day when their pontoon boat lost power, subjecting them to the strong waves and high winds.”
“Being unfamiliar with the lake’s depth in the area they were at, the operators of the two jet skis ran them into shallow water, sucking up debris making their crafts inoperable.”
The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office currently operates the boating program under funds received from the Department of Boating and Waterways.