3 Hikers Go Over Yosemite Waterfall: What's With National Parks Recently?

Vernal Waterfall, Yosemite National Park
Vernal Waterfall, Yosemite National Park
A search is underway in Yosemite National Park for three hikers who might have taken a tumble and fallen over the 317-foot Vernal waterfall on the Merced River; the Vernal fall has been raging recently due to excessive snow-melt in the higher elevations. Park Rangers have shut down part of the Mist trail to try and find the missing persons after they received unconfirmed witness reports that some hikers were swept over the falls around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The eyewitness account of the supposed fall over the fall is bone-chilling:

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A bystander told KGPE-TV that “I saw the man’s eyes when he went over the falls. That was devastating.”

And to feel so helpless as you essentially watch someone plummet to near-certain death must be terrifying. Another witness reported that she saw the two men and one woman who went over the falls land in a rocky pool below.

I saw two that were holding each other and one that was floating alone through the water. And the reason that I looked was because this woman was screaming, running along the edge of the water.

So there may be hope, after all. I would imagine that a fall like that would cause some very serious injuries, if not death -- I hope the Rangers find them and get answers, either way.

National Parks are having a tough month: First the Yellowstone bear attack, and now this? What's next, a giant tree going to fall on someone in Joshua Tree National Park? Is a mountain lion with a taste for human blood going to show up on the Appalachian Trail? Nature can be such a bitch sometimes, can't she. Guess she just needs a little respect.

What do you think?


Photo via Alaskan Dude/Flickr

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