Mission: Our mission is solely to retrieve our loved ones, in a quick manner. On behalf of the Yacoub, David and Badal family we are requesting serious cooperation from Yosemite National Park to help us achieve our goal and hear our voices. The fact that there are three missing adults, with tens of thousands of people awaiting an answer, makes this case beyond anything the park has seen before. We request that the efforts to find our beloved be amplified to match the magnitude of what we are dealing with.
Problem: Although Yosemite National Park has explored some search methods, we believe there could be much more done to find our loved ones. The problem we are facing is that delay of a finding can lead to increased injuries or mortality of the victims. Thursday, 8/4/11 marks the 16th day after the incident. The park has put forth minimal search efforts for survivors. To be more specific: Day of incident there was only a 2 hour time period they searched. The following morning search efforts continued for a brief few hours and ended around 11am. We were told the search switched to ‘body recovery mode’. The families have introduced additional search resources to assist in retrieval however the park denied them. The park is stating that they do not need any assistance and they will only resume searches when the water levels have reached below 500 CFS. Currently water levels are at 563 CFS. At the families’ request, the state congress has stepped in to appoint California Emergency Services to help but have not had access granted to them by the park to date. In our independent research we realized there has been a wider variety of search efforts used to retrieve the bodies of the victims in the past, even with similar or much higher water levels. We believe the park may not using all its resources or putting forth a solid effort to help recover the three victims. Although we appreciate any efforts that have been done to date, it is not enough to yield the results we desperately seek.
Solution: We, the families of the victims are requesting that Yosemite National Park concede to allow additional search rescue committees to step in. In addition, we are requesting that the park continue their own search efforts for retrieval of the victims. We are also asking the park to keep (and share) a log of any search and findings to prove that all efforts are being put forth. The park’s log, and ours will be used to share with additional search crews. Lastly, we are asking the park to be open to the idea of additional search methods that could help. We believe that if this happens, we will yield the results we are looking for, in a much shorter amount of time.
Resources: The additional resources and methods we have found consist of California Emergency Services to provide trained search dogs to recognize scents of survivors through the victims’ articles of clothing. Sandbags can be placed on the top of the waterfall to divert the water to one half of the fall to possibly change the water pressure or allow something to surface below. Helicopters may be used to search surrounding areas and further downstream in Merced River. The park initially mentioned a probing method into the pool and river below to possibly cause something to surface that will help us. These are just a few of what we have found as viable options.
Yacoub Family, David Family and Badal Family
Please see our requests in this letter, and all the people who feel the same way. This has really affected our community and the fate of three of our active youth are at your mercy. We ask that you please hear our voice and help us by putting forth a stronger effort to help find our beloved.