Student Celebrating His 25th Birthday Drowns After Sliding Down Waterfall
A student has drowned after sliding down a waterfall and failing to resurface.
Omar Chaar was celebrating his 25th birthday when tragedy struck at the Emerald Pools in Nevada City, California on Sunday.
He took the naturally-occurring slide with friends and plunged into the lake below but vanished beneath the water. It is believed he got caught in a whirlpool below the waterfall.
A friend who was with him at the pools told INSIDE EDITION: "He struggled for a bit, he went up and down once or twice - and then he didn't come back up."
Chaar’s devastated family said there should be warning signs at the Emerald Pools.
"There's a 50/50 chance you land in the whirlpool or you land safely," his sister Zeena said.
As his father waited for word about his son, he told the Sacramento Bee: "We couldn't celebrate his birthday. The cake is still waiting for him."
Rescuers looking for Omar had to be wary of the waters.
On Wednesday, they found the water had created a hole at the base of the waterfall where they discovered a body.
Chaar was a biochemistry student at California State University at Sacramento.
It is not the first incident of its kind at the pools. In fact, anchors have been attached to the rocks to make it easier for first responders to get gurneys down there.
Eva Rupert, of Discovery’s Naked and Afraid XL, had her own brush with danger on one such slide. After the white-knuckle ride, she suddenly found herself in danger in the water.
"It was so intense that I ended up needing to press my body against both sides of the wall just to keep my head above the water," she told INSIDE EDITION.
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