1 of 3 bodies recovered from Vernal Falls

Aug. 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. National Park Service said Saturday the body of one of three hikers swept over Yosemite's Vernal Falls on July 19 has been recovered.

Yosemite Rangers and search-and-rescue personnel found the body of Hormiz David, 22, of Modesto, Calif., Friday afternoon about 240 feet from the base of the falls, KCRA.com reported.

David and two friends, Ninos Yacoub, 27, and Ramina Badal, 21, climbed over a barrier at the top of the falls July 19. They waded into the raging waters to take some photographs and were swept over the 318-foot Vernal Falls, the largest waterfall on the Merced River in California.

The recovery operation lasted more than 4 hours and required personnel trained in swift water and technical rigging.

Water flows in Yosemite and throughout the Sierra are unusually high this summer due to record winter snowfalls.

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