Hiker dies in the South, three missing on Sea of Galilee

In three separate occurrences, strong eastern winds swept away or overturned three younger people as they floated on inflatable mattresses on the Sea of Galilee.

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April 12, 2017 19:37
1 minute read.
Lake Kinneret

Lake Kinneret . (photo credit: JULIE STEIGERWALD)

One man died of apparent dehydration while hiking near the Dead Sea on Wednesday and three others were still missing in the evening, after strong winds blew them into deep water in the Sea of Galilee.

The man, in his 40s, apparently died from dehydration in Nahal Arugot near the Dead Sea, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said, although the cause of death has not yet been confirmed by medical authorities. Police and Parks Authority rescue units arrived at the scene and attempted to resuscitate the man. After those efforts failed, his body was removed from the nature preserve by helicopter.

In three separate occurrences, strong eastern winds swept away or overturned three younger people as they floated on inflatable mattresses on the Sea of Galilee.

All three incidents happened near Lebanon Beach around 11 a.m. within a short span of time. In the first, a couple on an inflatable mattress got blown far from the shore. The woman was rescued by civilians on jet skis.

The man, a 21-year-old from Central Israel was still lost as of press time.

In a second incident, two 17-year-old males drifted out to sea when their inflatable mattress apparently exploded, police said. One teenager was rescued by one of the same civilians on a jet ski. The other, 17, also a resident of Central Israel, was still missing.

Police helicopter, boat, cavalry and diving units responded to the scene and planned to search through the night.

The Northern District Police said in a statement that over 80 people were rescued by maritime police officers on Wednesday at the Sea of Galilee after they were swept away or overturned while lounging on inflatable mattresses.

Four children, ages nine through 12, were also lost for a short time on Wednesday.

They were later found unharmed in Nahal Og on the West Bank east of Jerusalem.

Thousands of Israelis flock to parks and nature reserves during the week of Passover.


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