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Woman, 88, drowns in Dead Sea

Emergency rescue personnel try to resuscitate her without success

Neve Zohar beach on the Dead Sea, where an 88-year-old woman drowned on May 27, 2018. (Maya Harran: CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons)
Neve Zohar beach on the Dead Sea, where an 88-year-old woman drowned on May 27, 2018. (Maya Harran: CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

An 88-year-old woman was declared dead on Sunday after drowning in the Dead Sea.

The woman, who was not immediately named, drowned off the Neve Zohar beach south of the Ein Bokek resort.

Paramedics administered first aid and tried to resuscitate her, without success.

Common wisdom says that it is impossible to drown in the Dead Sea because of its high salt content, which, famously, stops swimmers from sinking and enables them to float on its surface, raft-like. But the very buoyancy that attracts visitors from all over the world can turn deadly if one flips over onto one’s stomach. This is because it is difficult to get one’s head out of the water by forcing the feet down to turn back over.

Drinking the saltwater can harm the heart and kidneys.

People float on the water in the Dead Sea, Israel, on May 27, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In any event, experts recommend not spending more than 20 minutes in the sea for any one dip to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

The waters of the lowest place on earth saw the drownings last year of a 68-year-old Russian millionaire lawmaker, Vasily Tarasyuk, and a 68-year-old Argentinian tourist. In 2016, an 83-year-old man drowned there.

Several years ago, Yaniv Almog of the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba told the Haaretz newspaper, “It is impossible to sink in the Dead Sea and drown in the ordinary way. Most people don’t drown in it; they trip, fall and swallow the water.”

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