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Rangers Recover Body of Modesto Man Swept Away At Yosemite Waterfall

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Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park

The top of Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park as seen from the Mist Trail. (NPS)

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Mark Seelig was born and raised in the Bay Area...having grown up...
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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (KCBS/AP)— Rangers located the body of a Modesto man who died after falling into a raging waterfall at Yosemite National Park nearly three weeks ago.

Hormiz David and two friends crossed the safety barricade at the top of Vernal Fall to pose for photos and were swept in on July 19. Other hikers saw the swift water pull David and Ramina Badal and Ninos Yacoub over the 317-foot cliff.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said recovery teams spotted David’s body on Friday afternoon, about 240 feet from the base of the waterfall in the Merced River, which runs parallel to what is known as the Mist Trail.

Rangers continue a daily search, scanning the river for the other missing bodies.

Yacoub, 27 and Badal, 21 are presumed dead, bringing the death toll in the park this year to 14.

Cobb said the water at the time was moving at a lightning speed of 1,000 cubic feet a second due to the unusually heavy snow runoff this year.

“By the end of the summer, the river is expected to go down to roughly about 60 cubic feet per second, which will allow us to insert divers into the water. We will continue to search as feasibly possible until we find any clues as to where they may be,” said Cobb.

22-year-old David was studying music production at Modesto Junior College.

On average, Yosemite experiences about 12 to 15 deaths during an entire year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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