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Man drowns at Ashdod beach after trying to save woman

28-year-old retrieved from water in critical condition, dies in hospital, bringing season’s death toll by drowning to 52

Medics attempt to resuscitate a man at an unauthorized beach in Ashdod on August 19, 2018. (Israel Police)
Medics attempt to resuscitate a man at an unauthorized beach in Ashdod on August 19, 2018. (Israel Police)

A 28-year-old man died Sunday after he entered the Mediterranean Sea to save a woman from drowning.

The man was playing paddle ball (matkot) with a friend at an unauthorized beach near Metzuda Beach in the city of Ashdod, when he saw a woman in the water calling for help.

The two men immediately entered the water to save her, but one was pulled out by a strong current. He was eventually rescued by a lifeguard from a nearby beach who was driving a jet ski, while the woman and the second man safely made it back to shore, suffering minor injuries.

The lifeguard, with the help of other bathers, began treating the man who had sustained critical injuries.

Magen David Adom (MDA) medics arrived at the scene and took him to the city’s Assuta hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“I was told the man lost consciousness in the water while trying to help a woman,” said Magen David Adom paramedic Lior Bitton. “We performed advanced CPR techniques which included medication and resuscitation, and he was taken to hospital in critical condition for further treatment.”

A sign warns potential swimmers of dangerous conditions at an unauthorized beach in Tel Aviv (Gili Yaari/ Flash90)

The man was not identified.

According to the Magen David Adom emergency service, the number of recorded drownings in 2018 was much higher than last year. Since the start of swimming season mid-March, MDA said its paramedics have treated at least 204 people who have been pulled out of beaches or pools. Of those, 52 people have died, including 13 young children.

According to MDA figures, 39 people died by drowning in Israel during the 2017 swimming season.

Two people drowned Saturday at beaches in central Israel: A 23-year-old man drowned at the Maayan Zvi beach, near the city of Zichron Yaakov, and a short time later, a 50-year-old man drowned while swimming at an unofficial beach in Herzliya.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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