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Man Somehow Survives Being Swept Over Waterfall In Yosemite National Park


Chilnualna Creek can be a dangerous stream to wade in, particularly when it's running high, as this photo taken in July 2006 by Ben Lane shows. Ben Lane photo via Wikipedia.

Cool water can be awfully tempting on a hot summer day, but a group of young men walked away with citations -- and their lives -- after frolicking in Chilnualna Creek in Yosemite National Park.

One of the ten somehow managed to survive being washed over a somewhat small waterfall, but needed to be rescued by rangers after finding himself stranded on a rock in the middle of the creek, which is near Wawona along the park's southern border.

According to a report filed by Ranger Chad Andrews, the incident played out on July 6. Rangers stationed at Wawona received a call of a man stranded on a rock in the middle of one of the creek's pools below a waterfall.

"Incredibly, the 21-year-old man sustained no injuries after falling into the creek and being swept over a 10- to 15-foot-high waterfall into a small turbulent pool," Ranger Andrews notes. "He was able to climb up onto a small rock in the middle of the pool, but had no way to reach the shore and another waterfall (was) below him.

"A short-haul rescue was attempted, but determined to be too hazardous. Rescuers were able to rappel to him, then ascended with him approximately 30 vertical feet back to the top of a rock ledge on the shore," the ranger said. "Had the man continued over the next waterfall, the fall would have likely been fatal."

According to an entry in Wikipedia, Chilnualna Creek plunges hundreds of feet out of the high country via a steep chute. A series of five waterfalls -- the largest plummeting 300 feet -- breaks up the cataract.

After rescuing the man, rangers learned that he and his nine friends had been climbing around the creek's waterfalls and crisscrossed the creek, which was running high with runoff, several times.

"They persisted even though they knew the water was high from runoff. All ten were issued citations for creating a hazardous condition and one citation was issued for possession of a controlled substance," said the ranger.


"and one citation was issued for possession of a controlled substance"...'nuff said...

'Nuff said is right. Recreational drug induced brain lapse... Hopefully the ten walked away more humble than when they entered the park. Thank God no rangers were hurt in the rescue.

Honorable mention for a Darwin Award is in order.

Except that a Darwin Award would imply that this involves the survival of the fittest. This sounds more like the survival of the dumbest.

I'm happy to hear that they ticketed these guys for being so reckless. Way too many people think they are invincible and way too many people get away with this kind of stuff. Good for the park service for fining them ~ this could have been a horrible situation for those who had to rescue this man.

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