Written by: Martin
July 21, 2011
Hikers Swept over 317 foot Falls to their Death
Three young hikers were swept over the 317 foot Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park, as dozens of tourists watched in horror. The hikers identified as Ramina Badal, 21, Ninos Yacoub, 27 and Hormiz David, 22 were part of a Church group from the town of Ceres in California, that had hiked to the top of the waterfall. The three college students climbed a guard rail, ignored danger signs warning of the slippery conditions and waded across the Merced River 25 feet upstream from the falls to have their photo taken on a rock in the middle of the river. Badal slipped and fell and was dragged towards the falls by the current, Yacoub went to her rescue and then David followed them over the edge after reaching for them and slipping himself. All three are presumed dead.
Scott Gediman a spokesman for Yosemite National Park, said the three had waded up to their knees in the rushing waters, were taking photographs and goofing around. He said several witnesses urged them to get out of the water. “They basically ignored their warnings,” Gediman said. “They did not comply with people telling them it was dangerous.
The accident brings the total number of water-related deaths in Yosemite this year to six, park officials said. Two hikers drowned in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on June 29, and a hiker slipped and fell into the Merced River on the Mist Trail on May 13.
The path to the top of Vernal Falls, a three-mile trek with a 1,000-foot rise in elevation, is one of the most popular hikes in the park.
Twelve people have gone over Vernal Fall in the past, park officials said. None survived.
deaths in Yosemite Merced River Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park