Search-and-rescue teams have recovered the body of one of three victims who were swept over 317-foot-tall Vernal Fall to their deaths in Yosemite National Park nearly three weeks ago.
The body of Hormiz David, 22, of Modesto, California, was found about 240 feet from the base of Vernal Fall on Friday afternoon, park officials said Saturday. Recovery operations took approximately 4.5 hours to complete and required technical rigging and swift water trained personnel.
Mr. David had been missing since July 19, when he, Ninos Yacoub, 27, of Turlock, California, and Ramina Badal, 21, of Manteca, California, were seen being swept over the waterfall.
The area where the three were swept away is signed as a dangerous area, and the group had crossed a metal guardrail placed there to keep visitors away from the fast-moving water, the park noted in a release.
River water levels in Yosemite continue to remain higher and colder than usual for this time of the year, according to park officials, who are urging visitors to use extreme caution when in and around streams and rivers in the park.
Yosemite rangers and SAR personnel are continuing recovery efforts in the Merced River below Vernal Fall for any signs of Mr. Yacoub and Ms. Badal. The Mist Trail, leading to the top of Vernal Fall, will intermittently and temporarily be closed until recovery operations of the two are completed, park officials said.