Tomer Frankfurter, 18, was on a two-month tour of the US from Israel when tragedy occurred on September 4, in Yosemite National Park
The final moments of an Israeli traveler who sadly fell more than 800 feet to his death while attempting to take a selfie on Yosemite cliff have been revealed for the first time.
Tomer Frankfurter, 18, was on a two-month tour of the US from Israel when the tragedy occurred in Yosemite National Park, California, last summer.
Along with a group of tourists, Frankfurter had been trekking the revered 5.4 mile Mist Trail route through the stunning Nevada Falls cliffs on September 4, and decided he wanted to capture a memorable photo of the trip.
Handing his cell phone to a woman in the group, Frankfurter is then said to have started climbing over the cliff edge as other hikers tried to persuade the teenager to come back because it wasn’t safe.
However, Frankfurter continued over the rock-face and, suspending himself with his arms, he dangled himself above the falls below.
For a few moments everything went as planned for Frankfurter, who posed for pictures with the rest of the group watching on.
However, suddenly the teen’s grip began to slip and he called out ‘I need help’ in desperation.
Frankfurter had been trying to take a picture dangling from the rocks next to the Nevada Falls (pictured) when the fall occurred
The teen started losing his grip began and called out ‘I need help’, eye witnesses recalled.
According to reports, a number of tourists ran over and tried to hoist Frankfurter back to safety, grabbing on to his arms and wrists.
But as it was a warm summer afternoon, Frankfurter began to tire and his would-be rescuers were struggling to get a firm grip on his arms, which were slippery with sweat.
Slowly, the adventurer, from Jerusalem, began to slip from their grasp. Then suddenly, he fell – plunging 820 ft to the ground below.
‘Frankfurter fell in a tragic accident, in circumstances that he was entirely in control of until the point of the fall,’ wrote Jesse McGahey, the Yosemite ranger who filed the report on the investigation into the death.
‘The witnesses that attempted to render aid were heroic in their actions,’ McGahey said. ‘But once Frankfurter descended to hang from the edge of the cliff face, there was nothing they could have done to prevent his fall with the equipment available.’
Frankfurter’s death came as an addition to the fast-growing number of young people who’ve died as part of the so-called ‘Selfie Epidemic’, in search of the most impressive photos for Instagram or Facebook.
‘Today people are trying to prove that they did something,’ said Michael Ghiglieri, co-author of ‘Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite’, to Mercury News. ‘In the old days people went out to have an experience. Now they go out to record that they had that experience.’
A student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Frankfurter was on a two month trip of the United States and had been staying with a family friend in Fresno.