A man in his 50s died of drowning on Sunday morning near Palmachim beach south of Tel Aviv.
Witnesses told paramedics that the man had tried to swim to help a family member who was struggling in the water and who had grabbed on to a rock for support. While swimming to his relative, the would-be rescuer began to drown himself.
The incident took place at a beach that is not officially recognized as a swimming site and has no lifeguards. Visitors to the beach who saw what was happening ran to a nearby recognized beach and brought lifeguards from there to the scene.
The lifeguards were able to pull the man from the water and paramedics who had been called to the scene began attempting resuscitation. Their efforts were not successful, and they were ultimately forced to declare the man’s death.
The Knesset held a special meeting in August to discuss shore safety following a weekend during which five people died of drowning. MK Dov Henin (Hadash) warned that budget shortages mean many lifeguard stations are left empty, and said that more lifeguards would mean more lives saved.
Avi Afia, head of the National Lifeguard Organization, warned that lifeguards are overworked, and often put in 12-hour days.
During the shore safety meeting, two more people drowned.