Two brothers have been swept away in the Merced River at Yosemite National Park. It happened Wednesday around 3pm. The family was playing in the water below a footbridge on the Mist Trail to Vernal Falls. The body of a ten-year-old was found downstream but crews are still looking for his six-year-old brother. About 20 people are now searching a mile stretch of the river for any signs of the young boy.
Deceptive is the word most used to describe the river that runs through Yosemite. People wade in the shallow areas to cool off when the weather is hot. That's exactly what a Los Angeles area family was doing when two brothers apparently lost their footing.
“About 150 feet below, the ten-year-old was pulled out by a park visitor who knew CPR. He administered CPR but could not get a heart beat,” said Scott Gediman, spokesperson for Yosemite National Park.
One couple, hiking down the trail on Wednesday afternoon, saw the hectic scene right after the boys were swept away.
“That's when we heard sirens and I said that's not good. I've been coming here over 30 years and you don't want to hear sirens in the park,” said visitor Suzy Vernoff.
What they saw next was nothing short of heartbreaking.
“To see the mother on the rocks, obviously injured from trying to rescue them, I just can't imagine what she's going through,” said visitor Robert Finnegan.
The search continues for the six-year-old. Signs posted to alert people of the tragedy identify the boy as Jacob Adams. The trail is still open to hikers. Crews will search the rest of the day Thursday for the missing child.
So far this year, there have been three confirmed drownings at Yosemite. That number does not include the missing six-year-old. Last year seven people died in water-related accidents, including three students who went over Vernal Fall.