Tourist plummets to death near Yosemite waterfall after slipping off rock

A 21-year-old Romanian tourist fell to his death near a waterfall at Yosemite National Park after he slipped off a rock, KCRA reports. 

Authorities told the station that Lucian Miu attempted to climb several boulders below Bridalveil Fall last Wednesday when he plummeted 20 feet. He died at the hospital. 

Miu's death came just two days after another hiker similarly fell off the same set of rocks, park officials wrote on Facebook. In both cases, Miu and the unidentified hiker "left the established trail to scramble up the boulder field toward the base of the waterfall, bypassing signs that advise against leaving the trail." Rescuers were dispatched to the scene and helped airlift both victims to an open field, where the two were transferred to an ambulance. 

A third person was also injured at the same area last Thursday, officials noted. 

"The subject slipped off a boulder and fell into Yosemite Creek, at one point becoming trapped underwater between several rocks," the park said on Facebook. "The subject was able to escape and bystanders then helped the subject out of the water. Rescuers responded, provided medical care, and carried the subject out by wheeled litter to an awaiting ambulance."

The incidents prompted officials to caution visitors against climbing the boulder fields. 

"The granite boulders have been polished smooth by falling water and are extremely slippery whether dry or wet," the park explained. "Additionally, the height of the boulders varies considerably and the consequences of falling are often overlooked or underestimated." 

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"Although others may be engaging in the same activity, do not perceive popularity as an endorsement for your safety," officials added. "When you go into these areas, you’re not only exposing yourself to serious injury, but also your rescuers."

In the past few years, the park has reported 23 incidents in which visitors injured themselves near Bridalveil Fall, one of the park's most visited waterfalls. Fourteen of those incidents purportedly involved head injuries.

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