Yosemite National Park rangers and deputies from Merced and Mariposa county sheriff’s offices are searching for an Oakhurst man who went rafting in the Merced River and then went missing.
Scott Gediman, spokesman for Yosemite, said the 60-year-old man went rafting with friends on Monday night. The group used their own rafts to float down the river. At some point, the man became separated from the others and was last seen floating down the river around Sentinel Beach.
A search began Monday night when he was not located, and the search continued Tuesday and Wednesday. If the man is not found, search dogs will be added on Thursday, Gediman said.
Gediman said the man is not being identified at this time.
Gediman said the Merced River is running fast and is cold because of runoff from the snow melting in the high country. If a person falls into such cold water, hypothermia can occur in just a few minutes, posing a threat to survival.
He added that water can be deceiving, appearing calm in spots when in fact the current is running strong. He urged “extreme caution” by anyone getting near the river.