Crime - Sacto 911

Face-down meditation in Yuba River leads to death of Israeli man

Two young men apparently drowned in cold Sierra waterways, including one man who was practicing face-down meditation in the Yuba River.

Yoav Timmer, a 33-year-old Israeli citizen, died Friday on the Yuba River at Rice’s Crossing, northwest of Nevada City.

Nevada County sheriff’s deputies were called about 4 p.m. Friday to the river, where Timmer and a friend had been.

“Based on statement’s from his friend, Mr. Timmer was practicing a type of meditation where he floats face down in the water for an extended period of time,” said Nevada County Sgt. Mike Sullivan. “His friend was doing his own meditation. A while later he went to check on Mr. Timmer and noticed he was unresponsive in the water.”

The friend tried life-saving measures and contacted 911, said Sullivan, the sheriff’s department’s chief deputy coroner. However, he was later pronounced dead when deputies responded.

On Sunday, another drowning occurred in the Sierra when Jairus Johnson-Neal of Reno died in the South Yuba River at the Hampshire Rocks campground. He was last seen floating downstream by friends who unsuccessfully tried to pull him to safety from the swift, cold water, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

Divers later found Johnson-Neal, 21, about 12 feet down. Rescuers had to maneuver in hazardous conditions due to numerous tree snags in the rushing water.

A word of caution for swimmers was posted on the Placer County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page:

“The past two people who’ve drowned in our area were both physically fit young adults. The cold temperatures and swift water were the major factors in their deaths.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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