Published On: Mon, Jun 3rd, 2013

Aleh Kalman, California teen on church trip gets caught in current, goes over 600-foot Yosemite Falls

A 19-year-old California man is feared dead after he was caught in river currents and swept over the massive waterfall while swimming in Yosemite National Park over the weekend.

Aleh Kalman of Sacramento was swimming in the Merced River during a church retreat Saturday afternoon when fast-moving waters  drove him downstream over the 600-foot Nevada Fall, park officials said.


Yosemite National Park Yosemite Upper Falls winter 2010 photo chensiyuan

After a couple days of searching, officials did not dispatch search and rescue teams to find Kalman on Monday morning, according to park ranger Kari Cobb.

“We believe that a fall from that waterfall is not survivable,” Cobb said, adding that park authorities will conduct another round of searches in a few days or when the water recedes to the point that authorities can get a closer look at the riverbed.

Teams of rescue workers – as well as a California Highway Patrol helicopter – were immediately dispatched in an effort to locate Kalman.

Additionally, park rangers are using three dog teams to help locate Kalman.

Park officials say the river was running at 500 cubic feet per second when Kalman was swept away, which “represents a swift and powerful spring flow of water.”


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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