1 tourist dead, 2 injured at Yosemite National Park


View of the Half Dome monolith from Glacier Point at the Yosemite National Park in California on June 4, 2015. At first glance the spectacular beauty of the park with its soaring cliffs and picture-postcard valley floor remains unblemished, still enchanting the millions of tourists who flock the landmark every year. But on closer inspection, the drought’s effects are clearly visible. (Getty Images)

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YOSEMITE, Calif. — Three separate incidents at popular waterfalls in Yosemite National Park left one visitor dead and two others hurt last week.

A 21-year-old Romanian tourist climbed up wet rocks at Bridelveil Falls on Wednesday. He reportedly bypassed several signs advising against going off the designated path.  Fox News reports he slipped off a wet rock and plummeted 20 feet. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

A similar incident occurred at Bridalveil Falls on Monday. The visitor was climbing up the wet rocks and slipped, also falling 20 feet. And on Thursday, a visitor was injured after slipping off a boulder at the base of Lower Yosemite Fall. According to Fox News, the hiker was trapped underwater between several rocks before eventually breaking free.

The string of dangerous incidents prompted park officials to post on Instagram, issuing a warning to bold hikers.

View this post on Instagram

“My foot caught, I started sliding and then tumbling down the rock, and then I fell over the edge…I just thought I might die” –past Bridalveil Fall patient There have been 3 significant incidents, including a fatality, at the base of waterfalls in Yosemite Valley in the past week. Two separate incidents occurred at the base of Bridalveil Fall when the subjects hiked to the viewing platform below Bridalveil Fall and scrambled up the boulder field toward the base of the waterfall, bypassing signs that advise against leaving the trail. According to witnesses in both cases, the subjects slipped off wet boulders and took 20-foot falls near the base of Bridalveil Fall. Responding to 911 calls for help, rescuers donned climbing helmets and approach shoes with sticky rubber soles, scrambled up through the dangerous terrain to the subjects, and provided advanced life support medical care. The park helicopter (H-551) extracted the subjects by short-haul and flew them to El Capitan Meadow, where they were transferred to ambulances. The third incident occurred at the base of Lower Yosemite Fall. The subject slipped off a boulder and fell into Yosemite Creek, at one point becoming trapped underwater between several rocks. The subject was able to escape and bystanders then helped the subject out of the water. Rescuers responded, provided medical care, and carried the subject out by wheeled litter to an awaiting ambulance. Hundreds of visitors scramble in the boulder fields below these waterfalls every day during summer. The boulders have been polished smooth by falling water and are extremely slippery whether dry or wet. Additionally, the height of the boulders varies considerably and the consequences of falling are often underestimated. Over the last few years at Bridalveil Fall alone, there have been 23 documented incidents in which visitors have slipped and injured themselves, 14 of which involved head injuries. Although others may be engaging in the same activity, do not perceive popularity as an endorsement for your safety. When you go into these areas, you’re not only exposing yourself to serious injury, but also your rescuers. Please keep comments respectful.

A post shared by Yosemite National Park (@yosemitenps) on

Part of the message from park officials reads “although others may be engaging in the same activity, do not perceive popularity as an endorsement for your safety. When you go into these areas, you’re not only exposing yourself to serious injury, but also your rescuers.”

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