Friday, October 19 , 2018, 8:33 pm | Fair 75º


Missing UCSB Student Found Alive After Fall at Yosemite National Park

A UC Santa Barbara student who disappeared Saturday while hiking with friends at Yosemite National Park was found injured but alive on Monday, some 48 hours later.

Michael Dahl, 20, was transported to a Fresno hospital Monday morning after park visitors at the Lower Yosemite Fall area found him responsive but immobile and suffering from substantial injuries, according to park ranger Kari Cobb.

Dahl was reported missing at 3 p.m. Saturday, when three friends he had been traveling with lost sight of him while scrambling on rocks near the Lower Yosemite Fall footbridge.

The four friends left from UCSB around 1 a.m. Saturday, Cobb said, heading up to Yosemite during the first weekend of the university’s spring break.

Dahl carried a camera and split up from his friends when they walked around an area Cobb said was popular for scrambling on rocks that oftentimes are slippery.

When the friends met back up at the bridge, Dahl wasn’t there. Cobb said his friends searched for two hours before calling park rangers to report him missing.

Michael Dahl was reported missing Saturday and the park posted posters around Yosemite Valley and online. (National Park Service photo)

Parks officials launched a large-scale search for Dahl Sunday morning, with a helicopter and about 50 ground crews combing the area, she said.

The search continued Monday, and ended when a park visitor walking along the valley loop trail “spotted movement out of the corner of their eye,” Cobb said, locating Dahl about a quarter-mile east of the Lower Yosemite Fall trail in a large boulder field below Sunnyside Bench, a climbing route.

“He fell,” she said. “We’re not sure how far or why.”

An ambulance took Dahl to the hospital with “pretty substantial” injuries, Cobb said, but she couldn’t give any more details.

She said the missing person posters parks officials posted in common areas and on social media may have helped the outcome.

“We’re definitely glad about the ending,” Cobb said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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