A man drowned Friday after rescuing a woman and her three children after they got into trouble while swimming in a lake in southern Israel, medics said.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said Michael Ben Zikri, in his 40s, was found after a short search with no signs of life near Zikim beach, south of Ashkelon.
Ben Zikri was said to be a resident of the southern port city of Ashdod.
Before going missing in the water, Ben Zikri helped rescue a woman from the Bedouin town of Hura and her three kids from drowning. MDA gave their ages as 40, 14, 10 and 7.
They were in a good condition.
“Today it’s hard to find a hero like this. The entire family apologizes for what happened,” a relative of the rescued family told Channel 13 news.
Ben Zikri’s brother-in-law told the network he was with his wife when he saw the four family members drowning and rushed to try to save them. The relative also questioned why the lake was not closed off given swimming is banned there.
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“If they know there are sinkholes why are they leaving it open?” the brother-in-law said.
An MDA paramedic said the rescue team learned from onlookers that Ben Zikri was missing as they treated the family of four.
“Sadly, he was found unconscious in the water and after he was rescued there was nothing left to us but to pronounce his death,” the medic was quoted saying in a statement.