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Sunday, June 2, 2013

YNP SAR: Sacramento teen swept over Yosemite Vernal Fall waterfall on Mist Trail #CASAR

 19-year-old Male from Sacramento visiting Yosemite National park with a church group was swept over Vernal Fall Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
When: According to the National Park Service, Aleh Kalman, 19, was swimming above the fall at 2:45 p.m. when the current caught him as he went from a rock in the middle of the river to the bank. Witnesses saw Kalman go over the fall.

Resources: Ground teams and a California Highway Patrol helicopter were immediately dispatched to the area to begin searching for Kalman but could not find him. Search efforts continued throughout the evening until fading light prevented further efforts, the Park Service said in a news release. Three dog teams and approximately 20 ground Search and Rescue personnel are searching the area for any signs of Kalman, authorities said.
At the time of the accident, the Merced River, which feeds the 594-foot waterfall, was flowing at approximately 500 cubic feet per second, a swift and powerful spring flow of water. Today, it was flowing at an even faster 650 CFS, with water temperature in the low 50s. Water levels and temperatures are expected to remain relatively the same throughout the week.
Kalman was part of a church group that had hiked the popular Mist Trail, authorities said. The trail from the footbridge above Emerald Pool to the top of Nevada Fall, is closed today as searchers continue looking for Kalman.

Rangers urged visitors to be cautious around all water in the park. Although the park received only 50 percent of normal snow pack, rivers within the park continue to run at high levels this time of the year. Additionally, the water remains extremely cold and will be throughout the year

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