Body of 11-year-old washes up on Haifa shore

Mark Haimovitch swept to sea while swimming in a forbidden area of the Carmel Beach; surfers rescue 2 friends, 1 swims to safety.

Tel Aviv beach 311 (photo credit: Alessandra Da Pra)
Tel Aviv beach 311
(photo credit: Alessandra Da Pra)
Search and rescue teams on Thursday morning found the body of an 11- year-old boy who disappeared Wednesday afternoon after he was swept out to sea with three friends off the coast of Haifa.
Rescue personnel reported on Thursday that Haifa resident Mark Haimovich was found washed onto the Meridian Beach in the early hours of the day.
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A massive search was launched Wednesday for Haimovich, with police deploying helicopters, rescue boats, divers, and volunteers in a desperate search. By nighttime, the search was called off until morning as the conditions hampered the rescue effort.
Two of Haimovich’s three friends, between the ages of 9 and 11, had been rescued earlier on Wednesday by surfers, while a third managed to swim to shore on his own.
The beach where the three went swimming had no lifeguard and was marked with signs forbidding swimming. The bathing season only begins on Carmel Beach on May 5.
Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller said Thursday that swimming at beaches without lifeguards is very dangerous, especially for children.
“We always tell people not to swim at unofficial beaches and children should only enter the water with their parents,” he said.
He added “people should never enter the water at night, or under the influence of alcohol,” and that the only way safe way to swim in the sea is at beaches where a lifeguard is present.
He added that often people enter the water in an attempt to save a drowning person and then themselves become drowning victims.