Yosemite search efforts continue for missing hikers

A search for three hikers swept over Vernal Fall on Tuesday will continue this weekend.

Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said searchers continued looking Friday for Ramina Badal, 21, of Manteca, Hormiz "Nenos" David, 22, of Modesto and Ninos Yacoub, 27, of Turlock, who fell into the Merced River while on an outing with a church group.

"We'll continue the search over the weekend and if there are no clues to the location to any of the individuals, we'll scale back the search and re-search the area when the water levels to go down," she said. That could be weeks from now.

Several search-and-rescue teams from nearby counties are helping the National Park Service with the effort, and many more people have wanted to take part.

The park service on Friday issued a statement thanking volunteers for their offers of help but saying they had enough people to do the work.

"The search is being concentrated on the banks of the Merced River below Vernal Fall," the statement said. "Whitewater conditions, combined with slippery surfaces, make the search area dangerous and only highly trained search-and-rescue personnel are being utilized in the field at this time."

Also Friday, Badal's family disputed wire news accounts of what happened, which said David fell into the water first.

Badal slipped; David reached for her and fell in; and then Yacoub tried to save them and also fell in, said Badal's cousin, Alvena Safar.

Family members also posted thanks and requests for continued prayers on a Facebook page they set up in Badal's memory.

Meanwhile, the body of Dr. Greg Meyer of Merced, who was swept off a footbridge at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the park June 29, was recovered July 15, according to his father, Chuck Meyer.

Meyer, 53, and physician assistant Richard Fox, 53, were swept to their deaths while trying to cross a bridge at Wapama Falls, swollen by near-record ice melt.

Meyer was trying to help Fox, who had lost his footing, when he was swept off the bridge. His wife, Paula Meyer, was with them on their backpacking trip.

source: www.modbee.com
Yosemite search efforts continue for missing hikers Yosemite search efforts continue for missing hikers Reviewed by afree on 7:27 PM Rating: 5

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