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Thursday
Jul212011

Staying Safe During Adventures with Nature

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As family and friends await the discovery of three hikers who were swept over a 317-foot waterfall in Yosemite National Park Tuesday, the three friends' presumed deaths are a reminder that when visiting parks and other nature sites, safety is key.

"Read any safety bulletin you see," said Jeffrey Olson, spokesman for the National Park Service, which oversees Yosemite. "When we put up railings at edges of places where it's obviously a long way down...we put those railings up for a reason. We want you to return again."

On Tuesday, Hormiz David, 22, of Modesto, Calif.; Ninos Yacoub, 27, of Turlock, Calif.; and Ramina Badal, 21, of Manteca, Calif., were on a church group outing at Yosemite when they climbed over a metal barricade on the Mist Trail.

"They went over the barricade and were playing in and around the water," Scott Gediman, a spokesman for Yosemite, told KFSN-TV.

Gediman said there was a sign saying "Danger" with a stick-figure person in midair.

"Apparently, they were taking photos, playing in the water," Gediman said. "One of the males lost his footing, started to slide down, the second male tried to rescue him and also lost his footing. Then the third person, the female, did. Unfortunately, it was a chain reaction of events."

They were swept over the Vernal Fall and into the Merced River.

The presumed deaths of the three hikers Tuesday bring the number of Yosemite's water-related deaths to six. Olsen said the National Park Service urges visitors to observe the signs, online tips and brochures.

"For safety, the things you do at home, at school, at work, those things you do to keep yourself safe -- don't leave those things home when you go on vacation," Olson said. "Many people say safety involves a large dose of common sense. There is plenty of adventure in national parks by staying on the safe side of a handrail."

Staying Safe With Nature

Before you head out into the wilderness, the National Park Service offered these safety tips:

-- Wear sturdy shoes and a hat.

-- Carry water and a flashlight.

-- Remember the sun and heat and poisonous snakes and plants.

-- Know your rock climbing and hiking limitations.

-- Leave an itinerary with family and friends and stick to it.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio