Israeli missing after Laos boat accident

Family asking for donations to hire search team; tourist serves in IAF's 669 search and rescue unit.

avner bardugo 224 88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
avner bardugo 224 88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The family of an Israeli tourist who has been missing in Laos since Friday morning is asking for donations to help them hire a search team. Money can be donated (from Israel) in NIS 10 increments by sending the text message "hilutz" (in Hebrew) to *3377. Avner Bardugo, 25, was making a river expedition by boat when, for unknown reasons, the craft flipped over and he fell into the water before getting getting swept away. Bardugo serves in the IAF's elite 669 search and rescue unit, which is often alerted to help rescue Israelis who go missing abroad. He was traveling with another Israeli at the time of the accident, and his companion managed to contact the local emergency services, who immediately began searching for the missing man. They also contacted the Israeli authorities. "They're trying to find him, so far unsuccessfully," a relative of Bardugo's told Channel 10 Friday evening. "In the meantime, it's already dark there," she continued. According to the news report, an expert in water rescues was scrambled to the scene of the accident. Israel's consul in Vietnam was en route to Laos to provide whatever assistance was possible.