Family outing to Kinneret turns to tragedy

Three family members perish after boat overturns on the Sea of Galilee.

picnic table water 88 (photo credit: )
picnic table water 88
(photo credit: )
Rescue divers were kept busy throughout the weekend as tragedy struck twice in 12 hours when four people - including two young children - died in drowning accidents in the north. A family outing at the Kinneret turned to tragedy Friday afternoon, when a boat carrying two children and their uncle overturned. The three were enjoying the last weeks of summer in a rubber boat when it overturned near the Recital Beach. None of the three victims was wearing life jackets, despite the fact that none of them knew how to swim. Other family members standing on the shore saw that the boat was in distress in the face of strong winds that frequently sweep the lake during the afternoon hours. When the boat overturned, they called for help. Rescue crews including divers and marine police scoured the lake searching for 5-year-old Ali Haliayleh, his 7-year-old sister Rani, from the Galilee town of Tamra and their uncle, Hussam Daouwi, 35, a resident of Nablus. Late Friday night, marine police managed to recover Daouwi's body, but as the night wore on, searches were called off only to be continued at first light Saturday morning. At midday Saturday, Haliayleh's body was recovered by searchers, and Rani's body was recovered shortly thereafter. Police said that the family had brought the boat with them to the beach, and said that no investigation would be undertaken, terming the event "a tragic accident." Meanwhile, early Saturday morning, emergency divers were scrambled once again, this time to a reservoir near Kibbutz Hazorea, where 24-year-old Lior Arussi had fallen into the water. Arussi was apparently sitting with a friend near the reservoir, located in a forest near the Jezreel Valley kibbutz. Police, rescue crews and divers were called to the scene, and after four hours spent combing the several-meters-deep water, the Carmel-Gilboa rescue unit recovered the youth's lifeless body. Police said there were no signs of violence on the corpse, but that the body would be sent to the Institute for Forensic Pathology at Abu Kabir for a post-mortem examination to try to determine the circumstances surrounding Arussi's death.