(CNN) — Half way to a popular waterfall at Yosemite National Park, the 15 members of a Southern California family decided to take a break from the trail at a footbridge that crosses the boulder-strewn Merced River.
Somehow, two boys — whether dipping their feet in the water or wading — were swept away Wednesday afternoon by the deceptive current, park officials said.
The 10-year-old drowned and a 6-year-old was missing, prompting a search and rescue effort.
The boys are either half-brothers or stepbrothers, officials said.
The tragedy occurred during the park’s busiest month, when 750,000 visitors enjoy the verdant national treasure that is the size of Rhode Island.