Teen Swept Over 594-Foot Yosemite Waterfall

Fall would be impossible to survive, rangers say

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 3, 2013 1:44 AM CDT | Updated Jun 3, 2013 3:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – After a day and a half of searching, rescue teams in Yosemite National Park fear a notorious stretch of river has claimed yet another life. Aleh Kalman, 19, was swimming in the Merced River 150 feet upstream from Nevada Fall on Saturday afternoon when he was caught by the current and swept over the edge of the 594-foot waterfall, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Sacramento teenager was visiting the park with a church group. Authorities say the river was running a "very swift and powerful spring flow of water" when he was swept over and they believe it would have been impossible to survive the fall, CNN reports. Two brothers, ages 6 and 10, died after being swept away in the same river last year, and the year before, three members of a church group died after being swept over another Merced River waterfall. It's not illegal to swim in the river, park authorities say, but there are signs warning of the danger.

There are around a dozen deaths in Yosemite every year.
There are around a dozen deaths in Yosemite every year.   (AP Photo/Kathy Matheson)
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