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Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool

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avatar Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
July 28, 2009 01:43AM
Yosemite National Park (CA)
Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool

Park dispatch received numerous 911 calls reporting a near drowning at Emerald Pool along the Merced River early on the afternoon of July 20th. This area can only be reached via a steep, approximately two-mile hike from the Valley floor. The park fire/rescue helicopter was unavailable due to an out-of-park assignment. Fortunately, UC Merced wilderness leadership intern Andres Estrada happened to be on foot patrol in the area and provided the incident commander with an initial size-up within about 20 minutes. A 53-year-old man had attempted to swim across the swift and cold waters of the pool and had become unresponsive. Bystanders pulled him from the water and are credited with saving his life. The man reportedly suffered a two minute loss of consciousness and was revived via chest compressions and rescue breaths. Ranger/park medic Matt Stark was immediately dispatched from the Valley to render assistance and arrived on scene in just under an hour. While Stark was caring for and evacuating the man, a second near-drowning incident occurred at the pool. Litter teams ultimately carried both individuals out to the Valley. Ropes were used to belay the teams through about 200 feet of steep terrain along the trail. The first victim was flown via Air Med to Modesto for advanced medical care that evening; the second victim was cared for at Yosemite Medical Clinic. Approximately 20 rescuers were involved in the operation. Emerald Pool is closed to swimming and is so designated by signs and an information board notice. Ranger Jeff Webb was the incident commander.
avatar Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
July 28, 2009 03:58PM
i read the article, pretty amazing... the guy was more than lucky his son was there to save his butt!!!
avatar Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
July 28, 2009 04:56PM
Quote
forrestranger
i read the article, pretty amazing... the guy was more than lucky his son was there to save his butt!!!

And there are big and easy to read warnings that swimming/wading in the Emerald Pool is prohibited. Why people take the risks of becoming incapacitated from the water and/or getting swept over Vernal Fall is a mystery to me.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/upload/compendium.pdf

Quote

The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:
• At the pool of the Wawona Domestic Water Intake and that area within 100 yards upstream.
• Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and one mile from the high water mark of the reservoir along any
tributary directly flowing into the reservoir.
• Lake Eleanor Reservoir when posted.
• Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River above the domestic water source intake.
Emerald Pool and the Silver Apron.
36 CFR § 3.16; CFR § 1.5(f)

Closures are established to maintain the high levels of water purity for human consumption, in conformance with
the other laws (Raker Act), and to provide for visitor safety.
avatar Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
July 28, 2009 08:51PM
Quote
forrestranger
i read the article, pretty amazing... the guy was more than lucky his son was there to save his butt!!!

This story?
http://www.modbee.com/2391/story/796657.html?storylink=omni_popular

It is an interesting, if medically unreasonable, report. There are several reactions to cold water. The initial usual response if increased breathing, hypertension and increased heart rate. There is a rare reaction involving bradycardia (slow heart rate) and some reports of syncope (loss of consciousness) due to exercise in cold water. There is a response called the "diving reflex" (after diving whales) that results in slow heart rate when the face is exposed to cold water.

Most notoriously, the comments about a vein contracting, loss of consciousness, and the angioplasty do not make sense. The core temperature of the victim would not be low in this brief exposure to effect blood vessels around the heart, veins do not contract much, veins do not control flow to the brain or heart or cause loss of consciousness, and angioplasty occurs on coronary arteries, not veins. The resuscitation suggests that the swimmer had a severe bradycardic episode and actually had a heart rate decrease (not fibrillation) with a pulse so slow that the rescuers could not detect it. A single chest compression is unlikely to rescusciate someone with an episode of fibrillation under the circumstances mentioned but might have aroused a person who had fainted from slow heart rate. He may have had coronary artery disease as a coincidental finding on medical workup.

I do not question the remarkable actions of the son.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2009 09:03PM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
July 28, 2009 08:16PM
kinda like signs every where NOT to feed the animals, but every time i'm there, some family thinks it's cute to sit and feed the squirrels, ticks me off every time!!!
avatar Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
July 28, 2009 08:21PM
Quote
forrestranger
kinda like signs every where NOT to feed the animals, but every time i'm there, some family thinks it's cute to sit and feed the squirrels, ticks me off every time!!!

One of those bushy tailed rats came up behind me and bit my thumb at the top of Nevada Falls. So I have good reason not to think feeding them is at all cute.
avatar Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
August 04, 2009 02:50PM
I recently heard the 53-year-old man was found to have a heart condition when he was treated. That may have caused him to faint in the cold water.
Re: Two Visitors Nearly Drown At Emerald Pool
August 06, 2009 02:34PM
We walked past Emerald Pool at about 5pm that day, heading back down from Half Dome. There were 8-10 young adults, all in black swimsuits, wet and laying on the rock up by the slide. Looked like an idiot coed swim team with all the matching suits.

We then passed a man and boy swimming closer to the falls. I saw the boy on the north side of the pool and saw him jump in from our position 75 yards or so up the trail. I hurried down thinking he might need help as the people on the south side had to offer some pretty serious encouragement to get him to jump in and swim back to their position. He made it... but looked pretty panicked coming out of the water.

We passed a ranger a few minutes down the trail hurrying up to chase the 2 groups out of the water.
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