Bay Area teen drowns in Lake Tahoe after boat hits wave

Loved ones are mourning the death of a 17-year old from Marin County.

Myles Kawashima drowned Monday evening while boating at Lake Tahoe with friends. Authorities are calling the teen's death a tragic accident.

Those who knew Kawashima say he was two things: a standout athlete and a great friend.

"Genuinely a good guy who wanted to see people happy and successful," said Nick Naudain, who was Kawashima's junior varsity football for two years at Redwood High School in Larkspur.

Naudain said he'll remember Kawashima's heart and integrity most.

"You stand for the right side of things. You try to be good to people, kind to people and help people in any way that you can. And that was Myles. Myles was that kid," Naudain said.

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But Monday night, Kawashima's life was cut short while boating on Lake Tahoe with friends.

"Apparently all he was trying to do was move to another seat on the boat while it was underway. And they hit a wave and he was ejected from the boat," said Aaron Meier with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Authorities say they're investigating what happened next and whether the impact or the shock of cold water were factors in the teen's death. However, they did say Kawashima was not wearing a life vest.

"He apparently started to struggle pretty quickly because his friends turned around and by the time they got back to where he was he had already gone under the water," Meier said.

His friends were able to get him out of the water and authorities performed CPR, but it was too late.

Kawashima died on the way to the hospital.

The Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office said the official cause of death is drowning.

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Kawashima also played baseball for the California Warriors. His former coach Kobi Allen said in a statement, "Myles was a team-first kid, humble and hard-working. He never complained, and whenever he stepped out on the mound, he gave it his all. It was a pleasure coaching him. I'm saddened by the loss and am thinking about his family and friends."

Nevada officials said the law does not require people over the age of 12 to wear life vests, only to have them on the boat. But they said in cases such as this, wearing one could have made the difference between life and death.