Death toll in series of drowning incidents rises to three

Father and daughter found unconscious at unauthorized Palmachim beach Tuesday night declared dead; five others in serious or critical condition

Muslims enjoy the sea by Tel Aviv during the third day of Eid al-Adha, on July 11, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Muslims enjoy the sea by Tel Aviv during the third day of Eid al-Adha, on July 11, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Three people died and several more were hospitalized in a series of drownings and near-drowning incidents in Israel on Tuesday.

A man, 55, and his daughter, 18, pulled from the water on Tuesday night were both declared dead early Wednesday, after doctors tried for several hours to save the two.

The pair, from the Bedouin city of Hura, had been swimming at an unauthorized beach at Palmachim, in the central region of the country, according to the Magen David Rescue service.

Medics said they arrived at around 10 p.m. to find the pair lying on the sand not breathing and without a pulse. EMTs managed to revive a heartbeat in the girl, but not her father’s, and both were rushed to Shamir-Assaf Harofeh hospital in Rishon Lezion, but doctors were unable to save them.

It was not immediately clear if the pair had been swimming in the dark under the full moon.

Earlier, a 60-year-old man drowned at the Sironit Beach in Netanya. The man, reportedly a French tourist, was pulled from the water in critical condition and paramedics declared him dead after being unable to resuscitate him.

The deaths came amid a chaotic day on Israel’s beaches and waterways, as medics rushed to a seemingly endless string of near-drownings that left five others in critical or serious condition, including several children.

The incidents came as Muslims across Israel celebrated Eid-al-Adha, a major holiday that is often marked with trips to the beach or other outings.

Screen capture from video of MDA medics responding to a near drowning on an Ashkelon beach, July 12, 2022. (Ynet)

Just before 7:30 p.m., Magen David Adom paramedics responded to an incident where a girl, 14, and her younger brother and sister were injured on the Delila Beach in Ashkelon.

The teen and one of her siblings were in serious condition, and the third sibling was in light condition. They were taken to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center.

The three siblings are all residents of the southern Bedouin city of Rahat and were swimming in the evening after lifeguards at the beach had ended their shift for the day, the Ynet news site reported.

Barely 15 minutes later, MDA received a call about the 5-year-old boy who nearly drowned at the Kibbutzim Stream near Beit She’an in the north. He was rushed to HaEmek Medical Center in critical condition.

An hour later, medics in Tel Aviv were called to attend to an 18-year-old girl who was pulled unconscious from a swimming pool. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Another injury was recorded in the Drom HaSharon Regional Council in the central region where a woman, 33, hurt her head jumping into a swimming pool and passed out in the water, Ynet reported. A 21-year-old man was also in moderate condition after being pulled from the water at an unrecognized beach in Haifa.

Before Tuesday, 16 people had drowned on Israel’s beaches since the start of the bathing season on April 16, MDA said.

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