Growing Concern over Missing Israeli Rafters' Fate

Rescue expedition is to land in Lima Thursday night and join the search for two missing Israelis, a man and woman aged 21 and 22.

Gil Ronen ,

Boat crosses Apurimac River
Boat crosses Apurimac River

An Israeli rescue expedition will land in Lima, Peru, Thursday night, and help look for the two Israelis who went missing in a rafting accident Tuesday.

The mission includes three soldiers from the IDF's elite 669 rescue unit, who brought along advanced mechanical equipment.

There is growing concern for the fate of the rafters, a 22-year-old woman from Ramat Hasharon and a 21-year-old man from Tel Aviv – whose raft overturned on the Apurimac River.

The Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reported that the raft was meant to carry six people, but had eight on board when it overturned. However, the brother of a survivor said that he heard from her that there were only six people on the raft that capsized.

Apurimac is a popular tourist site, located in the southern mountain ranges of the country where it 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.

This not the first case of Israelis going missing in the Peruvian river; two years ago a young Israeli woman was killed in a rafting crash near Cusco.

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.