Posted: Jun 3, 2013 9:19 AM by CBS News
Updated: Jun 3, 2013 10:37 AM
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - Yosemite National Park rangers are searching for a 19-year-old Sacramento man who was swept over a waterfall onto jagged rocks below while swimming in the Merced River.
Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb says Aleh Kalman has been missing since witnesses reported seeing him get pulled to the edge of 594-foot Nevada Fall on Saturday afternoon.
A search team assisted by a California Highway Patrol helicopter spent the rest of the day unsuccessfully looking for him, suspended the search when it got dark and then picked it up again Sunday morning. But one Yosemite ranger told CBS Fresno, Calif. affiliate KPGE-TV, "We do believe that it is impossible to survive a fall like that."
Cobb says the river's current was moving very quickly, with a temperature in the low 50s, when Kalman disappeared. He was visiting Yosemite with a church group.
Officials closed the trail below the falls while the search continued.
Family, friends and a tight-knit religious community are devastated, but still holding onto hope.
"All we can do right now is pray, just hope for the best. It's all in God's hands right now," Bogdan Pishtoy, a friend of Kalman's, told CBS Sacramento station KOVR-TV.
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Photo by KGPE-TV