Reporting Andrea Menniti
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS13) – The 6-year-old boy who was swept into the Merced River on Wednesday still has not been found, Yosemite National Park officials said on Friday.
Jacob Adams, visiting the park with an extended family group from Orange County, hiked to the Vernal Fall Footbridge on Wednesday when he and his 10-year-old brother Andrew were swept into the Merced River near the footbridge at about 3 p.m.
The 10-year-old was pulled from the river by a park visitor approximately 150 yards below the footbridge. The visitor, along with National Park rangers, performed CPR and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. An intensive search began immediately for Jacob, and he has still not been located.
This happened during a family vacation to Yosemite with their church group. The water looked inviting, especially on a hot day, but a rough part of the Merced River proved to be deadly.
Rangers say the young brothers, along with their family, were a mile into their hike when the group stopped to take a dip in the fast-moving Merced River.
Moments later, the boys were sucked in by the dangerous water. Their mother was injured trying to save them and was taken to a Fresno hospital for treatment, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Now, searchers are focusing on a 1-mile stretch of the river looking for the boy. That stretch of river is characterized by large boulders, chutes and small waterfalls. Although the river level is low, the current in sections of the river is deceptively
swift, rangers said.
“Some are in the water swimming, others are hiking looking for signs of the boy,” said Kari Cobb, a park ranger.
The tragedy is casting a dark cloud over the popular trail filled with families.
“I’m a youth camp counselor; it’s hard to keep track of kids. I hope they find him,” Dan French said on Thursday.
Rescuers will continue to search through the weekend.
Rangers say three people have drowned at Yosemite National Park so far this year.