searches for missing persons in Kinneret
searches for missing persons in Kinneret Police spokesman

Israeli authorities ramped up efforts to find three people who went missing while rafting on the Kinneret Wednesday.

Itamar Ohana, 19, Nahman Itah, 21, and a third unnamed 17-year-old went missing Wednesday in three separate incidents, according to a report by Times of Israel. Israeli authorities began the search Wednesday and continued overnight, and were joined Thursday by additional personnel and volunteers.

The search is focusing on one area near the eastern shore of the Kinneret according to assessments made last night and in the area where the missing persons were last sighted.

Some 80 people were rescued from the lake this week amid heavy winds.

Israel’s largest freshwater lake, the Sea of Galilee (or Kinneret in Hebrew) is popular with Israeli vacationers during this week’s Passover holiday, and authorities warned bathers about venturing from shore in inflatable dinghies.

“We call on the vacationing public on the shores of the Kinneret [Sea of Galilee] to listen to the instructions of the life-guard service and to refrain from entering the water on beaches that don’t have life guards,” the Israeli life guard service said in a statement.

The father of one of the missing young men, Shimon Ohana, also warned against entering the Kinneret, stating that "since Itamar went missing, I don't feel alive, my world has collapsed on me. He is a very dear child."

"I call on parents at home to beg their children not to enter the water, so that they come home in peace. Three losses are enough," said Ohana.

Israeli authorities are also concerned about the possibility of flash floods and other types of flooding in the south and Eilat area and have warned people in the area to be careful.‏