Eight Israeli hikers found in Chile

Chilean Air Force helicopter locates backpackers missing for two days.

puyehue park snow 298 (photo credit: Channel 2)
puyehue park snow 298
(photo credit: Channel 2)
In what appeared to be a happy ending to the latest mishap concerning Israeli tourists in South America, eight Israeli backpackers reported missing in Chile's Puyehue National Park were located Saturday evening by a Chilean Air Force helicopter. While the hikers - eight Israelis and three citizens of other countries - were reported missing three days ago, inclement weather prevented search and rescue teams from sending up a helicopter until Saturday. Two days ago, when the weather in the popular tourist destination turned stormy, park authorities evacuated most of the backpackers who were on the trails at the time, but could not locate the missing 11 hikers. The Foreign Ministry was in contact with all the Israelis' families, and Israel's consul in Chile, Ilan Weizman, was alerted. In December, three Israeli hikers - Nimrod Vered, Gal Idan and Lior Rosen - were located, safe, in a joint effort by Israeli and Chilean search and rescue workers.