Peril in Peru
Two Israelis Missing in Peru Rafting Accident

Israeli consul investigating fate of Israeli tourists who disappeared on Apurimac River, site of past Israeli deaths.

Ornit Etzer, Ari Yashar, | updated: 14:18

Rafting (illustration)
Rafting (illustration)
Flash 90

The Israeli consul in Peru is investigating the fate of two Israeli tourists who disappeared in a rafting accident on the country's Apurimac River, which passes near the city Cusco.

A popular tourist site, the river is located in the southern mountain ranges of the country and feeds the Amazon River; it also includes many falls and rapids in narrows gorges 3,000 meters (nearly 2 miles) deep - twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.

Israeli Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson Alon Lavi was cited by Walla! on Tuesday as saying efforts are underway to deal with the incident, both from within Israel and in conjunction with local authorities in the Peruvian capital of Lima.

"The Foreign Ministry has the list of Israeli participants who were on the ship, and their families have been updated," said Lavi. "Half-an-hour-ago a rescue team under the orders of the Israeli consul to Peru left Cusco towards the accident site."

Lavi continued "these teams are expected to arrive in the coming hours, with the hope that they will located all of those involved in the incident.

Israel's Foreign Ministry has stated that an investigation revealed several of the Israeli tourists were rescued, while the fate of several others remains unknown. It added that the river has claimed Israeli lives in the past.

It remains unclear how many total Israelis were involved in the rafting accident.

As noted, this is not the first case in which Israelis went missing in the Peruvian river. Two years ago a young Israeli woman was killed in a rafting crash near Cusco.

After her boat capsized, the woman was lost from sight, until being found drowned at a tree trunk. Her four companions who were with her on the ill-fated ride survived, as did their guide.

Likewise in 2008 Tomer Ahwan of Rishon Letzion was found dead in the region, after being thrown off course in a Peruvian river while travelling with his friends.

Ahwan's boat tipped over; his body was only found two months after the accident.




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