Luxury yacht sinks at Lake Tahoe

Luxury yacht sinks at Lake Tahoe

8:35 PM, Jul 9, 2012   |
The Sierra Rose on Monday.

The Sierra Rose on Monday. / Emerson Marcus/RGJ photo


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Lake Tahoe’s largest noncommercial yacht sank to the bottom of the Tahoe Keys Marina on Monday morning.

The Sierra Rose was 85.7 feet and 222 gross tons.

Noises of the boat’s sinking started at about 3 a.m. Monday, said Tony Michalak, who lives in a townhouse about 50 yards from where the boat was docked.

By 7 a.m. when he woke, the boat had hit bottom, he said.

Other neighbors said they heard screeching noises late-Sunday evening.

The mere size of the vessel kept it from completely sinking. Its third floor remained above water Monday. A big screen TV, leather couches and floating slices of bread could be seen inside the luxury liner that included three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a salon and a helicopter pad on top.

“It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” Tahoe Keys Property Association front desk clerk Ron Parker said. “My idea is it was so ugly someone had to sink it.”

Placer County Environmental Health Services, Lake Tahoe Office investigated the sinking. Its officials did not return calls Monday.

The Tahoe Keys Marina Yacht Club also declined to comment.

Several homeowners in the area seconded Parker’s distaste for the three-story yacht. Most complained its size blocked views.

In 2008, the Sierra Rose sold at auction for $3.2 million, according to news reports at the time. The buyer was not identified. The unidentified Nevadan outbid more than 40 other potential investors, the news accounts said.

The Sierra Rose by the numbers

85.7 feet long

222 gross tons

7.5 knot cruising speed

2 engines

6 cylinders