Search for missing Israeli ongoing in the Mediterranean

26-year-old said to be suffering from depression; man’s father found a suicide note; helicopters and ships scouring area.

By RON FRIEDMAN
October 4, 2010 19:32
1 minute read.
The Mirage 1

'Mirage' Yacht. (photo credit: Courtesy of Yesh shipping)

Cypriot, Israeli and UNIFIL forces were conducting a maritime search on Monday for a 26-year-old Israeli man who apparently went overboard during a cruise from Haifa to Limassol.

Authorities believe that he jumped off the ship to commit suicide early Monday morning.

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The Cypriot Defense Ministry said in a statement that an SOS signal was received around 3 a.m. on Monday announcing that an Israeli was missing at sea after falling overboard from the Mirage 1 cruise ship, which was on its way to the southern city of Limassol. The Cyprus Coast Guard began searching the area with the aid of helicopters.

At dawn, Israeli forces, and UN forces based in Lebanon, joined the search, focused on an area 80 to 100 kilometers off the coast of Haifa.

“The search will continue until all means of the rescue operation have been exhausted,’ the Cypriot Defense Ministry statement said.

Ronan Kaplan, spokesman for Yesh shipping, the company that operates the Mirage 1, said that at 1 a.m. the crew of the ship received a message from the Israeli police that one of the passengers was planning to commit suicide after his father found a suicide note.

“From that moment the man was announced as a missing person, the ship’s crew halted all leisure activities, searched the ship and paged for the passenger.

When the man was not found, Mirage 1 operated according to international maritime safety protocols and reversed its destination and returned to the route it had taken to search for him,” Kaplan said. “Mirage 1 is praying for the well-being of the young man and is maintaining communication with the relevant parties.”

The ship docked in Limassol on Monday afternoon.

The Mirage 1 was carrying 700 passengers on a pleasure cruise in the southern Mediterranean. It is scheduled to continue to Rhodes on Wednesday and return to Israel on Thursday.


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