Lake Tahoe Drownings Prompt Warning

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, California (AP) - The U-S Coast Guard has issued a warning after last week's drowning of a man at Lake Tahoe.

Coast Guard spokesman Josh Martin says the victim, Rick Hixenbaugh of South Lake Tahoe, was NOT wearing a life vest when he fell off a sailboat last Sunday at Tahoe Keys.

In this year's only other Tahoe drowning so far, a Tahoe City man also was NOT wearing a life jacket when his rowboat capsized in March.

Martin says the deaths would have been prevented had the two been wearing life jackets, and all boaters should wear them at Lake Tahoe.

Federal law requires those under the age of 13 to wear life jackets, but expanding the law to adults would require an act of Congress.

Two years ago, Nevada lawmakers passed a law requiring all boats to have a throwable life preserver.

Nine people drowned last year at Lake Tahoe.

Hixenbaugh was teaching others how to sail when he fell off the boat into the 42-degree water.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.