Berkeley High grad and Camp Tawonga counselor dies in river near Yosemite


A Berkeley high school graduate and Towanga camp counselor died in a drowning in a river outside Yosemite National Park on Thursday, the camp said in a post on Facebook.

Eli Kane was a summer counselor there 95-year-old camping, and the accident in a swimming hole away from camping on a holiday, according to the post.

The post read: “We are very sad because of this tragedy.” “Elijah was a bright light, beautiful spirit and a Tawongan worshiper … Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with Elijah’s family, and we are grieving with them. He was a long Tawonga camper … and a mentor really incredible. “

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office said U.S. Forest Service personnel and the sheriff’s office responded to an emergency call on the Tuolumne River at Cherry Lake Road at 12:52 pm July 15.


Deputy Niccoli Sandelin and the sheriff’s office said the victim was with a group in a swimming hole, and when fire and medical help arrived, people underwent CPR. Paramedics took over and determined that the victim had died.


Camp Tawonga CEO Jamie Simon told you KTVU in a statement that at the time of the drowning, the camps were not present; however, several other employees were.

Kane graduated from Berkeley High School in 2019 before attending the University of Michigan, according to a story in J weekly.

Kane was a Berkeley high school graduate friend Ross Schultz, who die recently in a car accident in Lake Tahoe with Dixie Lewis, another graduate of the East Bay School, according to Berkeleyside.

Sandelin said eleven people have drowned in lakes and rivers in Tuolumne County since the beginning of the summer.

“I would say that just to my knowledge of previous years, we’re significantly higher than we were in the past,” he said. “It was on every waterway we have in Tuolumne.”

Sandelin warned the region’s lakes and rivers are often ice-cold and have dangerous currents.

“It’s a completely different kind of swimming,” he said. “The temperature is different, the waters are different. … You get a lot of melted snow poured into these rivers. They are generally colder than they seem to be. Life jackets. We don’t hear if people drown if they wear life jacket. “

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