Still no sign of Wolf Pack player missing after paddleboarding at Tahoe
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office has not found the body of University of Nevada, Reno football player Mark Ma, 20, who disappeared June 10, 2016 while paddleboarding at Lake Tahoe. He is presumed to have drowned.
The sheriff’s office is now using special search teams that use sonar.
There were six people paddleboarding, the sheriff's office said: four men, including other Wolf Pack football players, and two women.
They hit large waves when all but Ma were knocked off their boards and the temperature dropped to 47 degrees, the sheriff's office said. Ma was going back to get help when the crew from Obexer's Marina saw the boarders in distress and headed toward them. After they picked up the other boarders, they looked back for Ma, who could not be found. But they found his paddleboard.
The defensive end from Honolulu, Hawaii, was a redshirt in 2015 and was expected to make his debut as a sophomore, the university said in his player biography.
The biography included this personal information:
"Born Marc Ho Chio Ma on Oct. 8, 1995 ... Son of Michael and Michele Ma ... Grandfather played basketball for the Hong Kong National Team while his brother played golf at the University of Oregon ... Is yet to declare an academic major ... Hobbies include basketball, tennis and going to the beach."
Several agencies searched the lake for Ma, who was only wearing swim trunks and was not wearing a personal flotation device, the sheriff’s office said.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office joined in the search along with rescue personnel from other jurisdictions, including the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Also, a CalStar medical helicopter and a helicopter from the Fallon Naval Air Station joined in the search.
Statements from Wolf Pack athletic officials.
Brian Polian, Wolf Pack Head Football Coach:
“The Placer County Sheriff’s Office is calling this search one of recovery, not rescue. As such, it is with an incredibly heavy heart that we acknowledge the loss of Marc Ma, a beloved member of our Wolf Pack family."
“Laura and I spent time at the lake today with Marc’s parents, Michele and Michael, and our thoughts and prayers are with Marc's entire family and friends in Hawaii and with those close to him here in Reno. We share in their devastation and will support them in any way we can. We are thankful for the courageous efforts of search personnel."
“Marc was a very special young man and it was an honor to work with him. He was universally liked and respected by his teammates, coaches and staff. Marc excelled in the classroom and had grown by leaps and bounds in the weight room and on the football field. His easy smile and cheerful demeanor belied a fierce competitive nature that would emerge in practice and excite our team."
“Our team has lost a friend and a brother and we are hurting right now. I have no doubt that we will rally together to love and support one another in manner that will honor Marc's memory.”
Doug Knuth, University of Nevada Athletics Director:
“The University comes together in times of need to support the family and each other through this difficult and tragic situation. Counseling and grief management services are available as needed for all students, coaches and staff.“