A 20-year-old yeshiva student drowned to death Thursday in a reservoir in Beit Zayit, outside Jerusalem.
The student’s seminary classmate contacted emergency services after the deceased entered the reservoir and disappeared, according to Hebrew media reports.
After a two hour search, the man’s body was located and retrieved by rescue workers who were alerted to the scene.
His name has not been released.
Rescue workers blamed the drowning and the lengthy search that followed on seasonal changes to the reservoir that resulted in thick, muddy water that made swimming conditions dangerous, Walla reported.
“It’s a place that’s really difficult to search in, because the mud is up to ten meters deep in some places,” Haim Utmazgin of the ZAKA emergency response organization said.
Another medical volunteer said the mud impaired visibility beneath the surface of the water.
As thousands converged on Israel’s beaches, rivers and lakes to escape the summer heat, Jerusalem District’s fire department chief Doron Adika warned swimmers to avoid unauthorized bodies of water — such as the reservoir — that are not protected by lifeguards.
“Unfortunately, we are called too often to attend to scenes like these that end in injury or death, simply because of lack of caution when entering unapproved bodies of water without supervising lifeguards,” Adika said.
“We call on the public not to be tempted — even on hot days — to enter unauthorized pools. The difference between those and registered areas with emergency services on hand can be that of life and death,” he said.
Marissa Newman contributed to this report.