UK embassy in Israel donates underwater scooter to ZAKA

British Ambassador Matthew Gould tells ZAKA Chariman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav: "We support you, we salute you."

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March 27, 2011 03:03
1 minute read.
UK ambassador Matthew Gould and Yehuda Meshi-Zahav

ZAKA gould 311. (photo credit: ZAKA)

 
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British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould presented ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav with an underwater scooter, in a ceremony at the ambassador’s official residence in Ramat Gan on Friday.

The ceremony took place less than 48 hours after ZAKA volunteers were among the first responders to the bombing at a Jerusalem bus stop that left UK national Mary Gardner dead, and wounded dozens more.

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According to ZAKA, an international, volunteerbased emergency response organization, the underwater scooter will be utilized by the ZAKA divers unit, one of their four specialized search and rescue teams.

Gould was given a demonstration of the scooter in action on Friday, when ZAKA diver Roi Rachmamim, did a few underwater laps in the ambassador’s pool. Gould later switched into swim trunks and took the scooter on a spin around the pool as well, but only after ensuring that no photographers would capture the moment.

The hand-held underwater scooter looks like a small plastic torpedo and allows a diver to coast through the water at around 3.5 km without effort.

Poolside on Friday, Gould told ZAKA representatives “we support you, we salute you, we’re very pleased to work with you, and the very sad events of the past week – the rocket attacks against innocent civilians [in southern Israel] and the death of a British woman in Jerusalem in a terror attack – has really brought home in a very sad way how your work is essential and how very glad we are that ZAKA is there to be doing this work.”

In a press release issued the day before the ceremony, Meshi-Zahav said “When we arranged the presentation of this generous gift from the British Embassy to the ZAKA Divers Unit, we never imagined that it would take place just 48 hours after ZAKA volunteers tried to save the life of a British national in a terror attack in Jerusalem.



“The underwater scooter, which allows the ZAKA divers to move faster through the water, will certainly help us in our humanitarian mission to save lives, regardless of religion, race or creed.”

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