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Drowning Victim’s Body Recovered 1,062 Feet Below Lake Tahoe’s Surface

Officials have been searching for a week for the body of 33-year-old Chaitanya Datla of Cameron Park in Lake Tahoe. On September 17, the search ended when sheriffs finally recovered the body 1,062 feet below the surface. It was the deepest a body has ever been discovered on the bottom of Lake Tahoe.




Datla disappeared after jumping into the lake on September 10 without a life jacket. In the time since, a team of more than a dozen personnel were searching for the body at extreme depths with an underwater remote operated vehicle using sonar radar technology.

The underwater vehicle was recently donated to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office by a local resident and DCSO offered their assistance to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. The Douglas County marine deputies recently completed ROV and SONAR training with Bruce’s Legacy, a non-profit search and recovery group from Wisconsin that was instrumental in other recoveries around the region and nation.




South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue Marine 17 responded to assist Douglas County Sheriff Marine 7 with the body recovery. The South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue Marine Unit was also donated by the same resident who donated the ROV.

Officials made a statement in regards to the recovery:

“The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office is extremely thankful to our partners around Lake Tahoe. This search and recovery would not have been successful without the private donations from a local resident, training by Bruce’s Legacy, and the assistance from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, South Lake Tahoe Fire and Rescue Marine Unit, the Tahoe Douglas Fire Marine Unit, El Dorado County SAR, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit, and the United States Coast Guard.”

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