Aleh Kalman, 19, who had gone to the park with a church group, was swimming about 150 feet from the edge of Nevada Fall when "a very swift and powerful spring" current in the Merced River swept him toward the edge.
"We believe it's impossible to survive a fall like that," park spokeswoman Kari Cobb told CNN, adding that swimming above the 594-foot Nevada Fall is not illegal but is marked with warning signs.
The Associated Press notes that officials have closed the trail below the falls while the search continues. Yosemite is about 200 miles east of San Francisco.
Here's a view of Nevada Fall and the Merced River from below:
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- Nevada Fall
- Yosemite National Park