Man Dies in Lower Rainbow Falls Pool

Staff Writer

A tragic accident claimed the life of a man who had hiked to Lower Rainbow Falls last weekend when the man drowned in the pool at the base of Lower Rainbow Falls.
A person who tried to rescue the man suffered from hypothermia, but did survive, according to authorities.
The incident occurred on Sunday, Aug. 21, at approximately 4:15 p.m., according to the Mono County Sheriff’s Office.
Lower Rainbow Falls is located lower down in elevation from the more famous and popular Rainbow Falls and is about 15 feet high, according to trail data.
According to the office, dispatch received a call regarding an adult male who had jumped into the San Joaquin River at Lower Rainbow Falls, which is located in Red’s Meadow in Madera County.
The man was found floating face down in the water, according to the news release.
“Extremely cold water temperatures and underwater current prohibited witnesses from reaching the victim,” the news release states. “It was determined by emergency first responders on scene that the victim was deceased.
A second victim was found sitting at the bottom of a steep incline near the pool, according to the release.
“The second victim had attempted to rescue the first victim and was suffering from hypothermia as a result of being in the water which was estimated to be 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
The news release stated Mono County Sheriff Deputies, Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Mono County Paramedics, and Mammoth Lakes Fire Department were able to rescue the second victim.
However, the body of the man who drowned was unable to be recovered that night, due to darkness, the news release states.
“Efforts to rescue the first victim were unsuccessful as the victim had submerged in the pool and was no longer visible to emergency personnel. Recovery efforts were put on hold as darkness fell as a safety precaution.
“The Mono County Sheriff’s Office staffed the scene overnight until recovery efforts resumed the following morning.
Rescuers were able to recover the body of the man who drowned at about 11 a.m. the next morning, according to the news release.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Department, Mono County Sheriff’ Office, Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area personnel all provided personnel and logistical support for the recovery effort.
The names, ages, cause of death and residences of the man who died and the person who tried to rescue him were not available at press time.