Hiker Missing Presumed Dead After Being Swept Over Falls

In Yosemite Valley News

Union Democrat: “A Yosemite National Park hiker is missing and presumed dead after several people saw him get swept over 317-foot tall Vernal Fall on Saturday.

San Francisco-area resident Chintan Chokshi, 24, crossed a safety barrier at the top of the waterfall to wet his face with water from Emerald Pool after hiking the popular Mist Trail, Park Ranger Adrienne Freeman said yesterday.

Chokshi lost his footing and fell in Emerald Pool, which sits at the top of the waterfall.

The pool has a very fast current, which Chokshi apparently was swept away in, Freeman said.

The likelihood of him having survived the fall is very small because of rocks at the bottom and the water’s tremendous force, Freeman said.

Rangers searched intensively for Chokshi through yesterday, on foot and by helicopter. Today, the search will be cut back to a “continuous limited search,” meaning rangers will continue normal patrols, but will be on the lookout for Chokshi’s body.

In the last 30 years, about 10 people have gone over waterfalls in the park and died, Freeman said.”

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