FILED IN: Safety

Teen believed dead after plunging over Yosemite waterfall

Aleh Kalman, 19, swept over Calif. waterfall. Photo via David Liu.
Aleh Kalman, 19, swept over Calif. waterfall. Photo via David Liu.

A 19-year-old swimmer is believed to be dead after he was swept over a waterfall at Yosemite National Park in California on Saturday.

Aleh Kalman was swimming near the waterfall with his church group and was caught in a current which took him over the edge of the waterfall, dropping nearly 6,000 feet.

Officials say it would be impossible to survive  such a drop, not to mention the risk of hypermedia as the water is extremely cold.

Searchers set out to recover Kalman’s body on Saturday but were forced to stop as night fell. Efforts resumed on Sunday, but even with tracking dogs, the teen’s body has yet to be recovered.

Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said that swimmers are advised not to swim too close to waterfall. Danger signs are posted near the waterfall, but it is not illegal to swim in the river that feeds into the Merced River Waterfall where the young man fell.

Kalman’s father is the pastor of a Slavic Church in Sacremento.

According to USA Today, Kalman’s death will mark the seventh drowning in the park in two years.

Witnesses say they saw Kalman try to swim back to the river’s bank from a rock in the middle of the river, but say he was swept away by a strong current.