Hormiz David had been missing for more than two weeks, after witnesses saw him and two other young adults get swept over the 317-foot Vernal Fall waterfall in Yosemite National Park on July 19. On Aug. 5 at approximately 1 p.m., David’s body was found in the Merced River, approximately 240 feet from the base of Vernal Fall by Yosemite Rangers and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel. Recovery operations took approximately four and a half hours to complete, and required technical rigging and swift water-trained personnel.
David, a 22 year old male from Modesto, Calif. had been swept over the falls along with Ninos Yacoub, a 27-year-old male, of Turlock, Calif., and Ramina Badal, a 21-year-old female, of Manteca, Calif. after the three had crossed a metal guardrail put in place to keep visitors away from the fast-moving water. The area where the three were swept away was and continues to be signed as a dangerous area, according to a press release from the National Park Service.
River water levels in Yosemite continue to remain higher and colder than usual for this time of the year. Visitors are urged to exercise extreme caution when in and around waterway in the park.
Over the weekend Yosemite National Park Rangers and SAR personnel continued recovery efforts in the Merced River, below Vernal Fall, for any signs of Yacoub and Badal. The Mist Trail, leading to the top of Vernal Fall, will intermittently and temporarily be closed until recovery operations of Yacoub and Badal are completed.
The search area included in the recovery effort is one of the most rugged areas of the Merced River. Yosemite Park Rangers and SAR personnel continue to exercise caution while searching along the slippery rocks and while near the high, fast moving water of the Merced River. –NPS/LK