Israeli backpacker missing in Mexico after falling into river

Search and rescue teams attempting to locate Yanai Rimon, 25, after he slipped while trying to cross river in Chiapas highlands, his friends say

Israeli backpacker Yanai Rimon (Courtesy)
Israeli backpacker Yanai Rimon (Courtesy)

An Israeli backpacker was declared missing after he was swept into a river on Wednesday while traveling in Mexico, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday night.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, Sderot resident Yanai Rimon, 25, was on a post-army trip with friends after completing service in a special forces unit.

The Foreign Ministry said rescue services — both locals and private Israeli teams — were searching for Rimon after he was pulled into a waterfall on Wednesday afternoon near Siltepec, in the Chiapas highlands close to the Guatemala border.

“Local search and rescue teams worked for hours at the site, aided by special forces and methods, but the young man has yet to be located,” the Foreign Ministry said Thursday night.

Rimon’s friends told Hebrew-language media he fell from a height of five meters (16 feet) into the coursing river and was subsequently sucked into the waterfall.

“They went, seven guys, and there was a point where they needed to cross the river — and at that point, he slipped,” Benny Markovich, a friend traveling with Rimon, told the Ynet news site. “He slipped and fell and was swept into a strong current and then into the waterfall.”

The search efforts were ongoing.

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