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3 Hikers Swept Over Edge of Yosemite's Vernal Fall, Search Underway

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July 20, 2011

3 Hikers Swept Over Edge of Yosemite's Vernal Fall, Search Underway

By Chad Love

A section of Yosemite National Park has been closed after three hikers were apparently swept over the edge of the park's famous Vernal Fall Tuesday.

From this story on CNN:
A search is under way in Yosemite National Park for as many as three people who may have been swept over the 317-foot-high Vernal Fall on the Merced River in eastern California. Park rangers have closed the Mist Trail to the fall until at least noon Wednesday, saying they are conducting a search after receiving unconfirmed reports of one or more visitors being swept over the fall. Witnesses told CNN affiliate KGPE-TV that three people were swept over the fall around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“I saw the man’s eyes when he went over the falls. That was devastating,” witness Jacob Bibee told KGPE. Other witnesses said two men and a woman went into the water and over the fall into a rocky pool below. “I saw two that were holding each other and one that was floating alone through the water. And the reason that I looked was because this woman was screaming, running along the edge of the water,” witness Dean Sabo told KGPE.

Comments (11)

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from rugerlady wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Hoping for the best for all involved.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PigHunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

According KSEE in Fresno, witnesses say a man and a woman climbed over the safety rail at the top of the falls so that they could put their feet in the water. The couple then reportedly tried to get their children to join them, but before the kids got there the couple began to slip. KSEE is reporting a third male family member jumped the railing to try and help, but all three went over the edge.
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Hiker-Swept-Over-Vernal-Falls-Re...

http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/mist-trail/mist-trail.htm
"more people die on the Mist Trail than almost anywhere else in Yosemite. It's not the waterfalls or the cliffs that are the culprits; it's the current. The river here apparently looks much less dangerous than it actually is. Typically, a hiker slips into the water and finds the current too strong to overcome, then gets swept to a regrettable death somewhere downstream. So please be careful when you're near the river."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Have been to YNP several times. It can be a dangerous place if you are not careful.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

sounds like a dangerous time to be in the outdoors right now judging by the F&S blogs today I.e bear waterfall, leopard... Prayers go out to the people involved.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

sounds like a dangerous time to be in the outdoors right now judging by the F&S blogs today I.e bear waterfall, leopard... Prayers go out to the people involved.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I'm beginning to think there should be some sort of common sense course/test you have to pass before you can enter Yosemite, Glacier, or Yellowstone. It's not a playground. These places are not your home. They will kill you and keep smiling.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Those barriers are in place for a reason.
Darn shame there was an audience present to witness it, my heart goes out to the kids who watched.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PigHunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

From the National Park Service this morning:

"Yosemite National Park (CA)
Three Visitors Swept Over Vernal Fall

Three visitors are presumed dead after plunging over Vernal Fall on Tuesday afternoon. Hormiz David, 22, Ninos Yacoub, 27, and Ramina Badal, 21, all from California, came to the park for a day trip with a group of family and friends. They were seen entering the water above Vernal Fall, approximately 25 feet from the precipice. Witnesses reported to park officials that several people urged them to step back from the river, since it was flowing swiftly and was extremely cold. The area is signed as a dangerous area, and the group had crossed a metal guardrail placed there to keep visitors away from the dangerous, fast-moving water. The park is still seeing the effects of a huge winter snowpack and a cool spring and summer. The Merced River, which feeds the 317-foot-high Vernal Fall, is still running at spring conditions with significant water levels, producing a swift, dangerous current. The hike up the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall is one of the most popular hikes in the park, with upwards of 1,500 people per day ascending the trail to the top of Vernal Fall. There have been six water-related deaths in the park this year, including this incident. Two hikers drowned in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on June 29th and a hiker slipped and fell into the Merced River on the Mist Trail on May 13th. The Mist Trail was closed after the incident to facilitate search and rescue operations, but has since reopened. Search efforts are continuing, consisting primarily of combing each side of the Merced River looking for the victims.
[Submitted by Kari Cobb, Public Affairs Specialist] "

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from redneck1154 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Might sound bad, but the world is safer without them 3 people.Thank about them hunting with no regard to rules or safety.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I feel bad for the families & all, and especially for the person who witnessed the whole thing...
But I gotta call Darwinism on this one.
Those guardrails are there for a reason.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RonDak wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

redneck, think before you type. 'Dem theres peoples had families. Don't be a punk.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report

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from RonDak wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

redneck, think before you type. 'Dem theres peoples had families. Don't be a punk.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Have been to YNP several times. It can be a dangerous place if you are not careful.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I'm beginning to think there should be some sort of common sense course/test you have to pass before you can enter Yosemite, Glacier, or Yellowstone. It's not a playground. These places are not your home. They will kill you and keep smiling.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Those barriers are in place for a reason.
Darn shame there was an audience present to witness it, my heart goes out to the kids who watched.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

sounds like a dangerous time to be in the outdoors right now judging by the F&S blogs today I.e bear waterfall, leopard... Prayers go out to the people involved.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rugerlady wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Hoping for the best for all involved.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PigHunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

According KSEE in Fresno, witnesses say a man and a woman climbed over the safety rail at the top of the falls so that they could put their feet in the water. The couple then reportedly tried to get their children to join them, but before the kids got there the couple began to slip. KSEE is reporting a third male family member jumped the railing to try and help, but all three went over the edge.
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Hiker-Swept-Over-Vernal-Falls-Re...

http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/mist-trail/mist-trail.htm
"more people die on the Mist Trail than almost anywhere else in Yosemite. It's not the waterfalls or the cliffs that are the culprits; it's the current. The river here apparently looks much less dangerous than it actually is. Typically, a hiker slips into the water and finds the current too strong to overcome, then gets swept to a regrettable death somewhere downstream. So please be careful when you're near the river."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PigHunter wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

From the National Park Service this morning:

"Yosemite National Park (CA)
Three Visitors Swept Over Vernal Fall

Three visitors are presumed dead after plunging over Vernal Fall on Tuesday afternoon. Hormiz David, 22, Ninos Yacoub, 27, and Ramina Badal, 21, all from California, came to the park for a day trip with a group of family and friends. They were seen entering the water above Vernal Fall, approximately 25 feet from the precipice. Witnesses reported to park officials that several people urged them to step back from the river, since it was flowing swiftly and was extremely cold. The area is signed as a dangerous area, and the group had crossed a metal guardrail placed there to keep visitors away from the dangerous, fast-moving water. The park is still seeing the effects of a huge winter snowpack and a cool spring and summer. The Merced River, which feeds the 317-foot-high Vernal Fall, is still running at spring conditions with significant water levels, producing a swift, dangerous current. The hike up the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall is one of the most popular hikes in the park, with upwards of 1,500 people per day ascending the trail to the top of Vernal Fall. There have been six water-related deaths in the park this year, including this incident. Two hikers drowned in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on June 29th and a hiker slipped and fell into the Merced River on the Mist Trail on May 13th. The Mist Trail was closed after the incident to facilitate search and rescue operations, but has since reopened. Search efforts are continuing, consisting primarily of combing each side of the Merced River looking for the victims.
[Submitted by Kari Cobb, Public Affairs Specialist] "

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

sounds like a dangerous time to be in the outdoors right now judging by the F&S blogs today I.e bear waterfall, leopard... Prayers go out to the people involved.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I feel bad for the families & all, and especially for the person who witnessed the whole thing...
But I gotta call Darwinism on this one.
Those guardrails are there for a reason.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from redneck1154 wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Might sound bad, but the world is safer without them 3 people.Thank about them hunting with no regard to rules or safety.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report

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