Beach Season Proves Deadly as Israel Sees Troubling Spike in Drownings

(Israel Hayom) -
The refurbished eastern Kinerret quiet beach. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Israel’s 2021 beach season has been a deadly one so far, noting an alarming rise in drowning incidents on Israel’s beaches, pools, waterways and reservoirs.

The weekend proved particularly deadly, with seven people losing their lives at the beach.

According to data published by Magen David Adom emergency services, since swimming season began this March, 22 Israelis have lost their lives by drowning and 133 people required medical attention as a result of nearly drowning,

Twelve of the victims so far have been children

Sunday marked the UץNץ-designated International Drowning Prevention Day. The World Health Organization pegs drowning as one of the top 10 causes of death for people aged 1-24 years.

Magen David Adom data shows that 61 of the incidents recorded over the past four months took place along Israel’s Mediterranean shoreline, 13 in private pools, seven in guest houses, 21 in public pools, six in the Kinerret, three in the Red Sea, 18 in the Dead Sea, and 12 in rivers and other bodies of water.

“Swimming in unauthorized beaches is forbidden and dangerous,” a MDA paramedic warned. “Access to such areas is complex and makes it hard for medical emergency teams to reach the site in time to provide crucial, life-saving care.

“We call on the public to only go swimming in authorized beaches and solely during times when lifeguard towers are operating.”

On this past weekend alone, MDA paramedics reported the death of seven Israelis. Three of them drowned when swimming in unauthorized beaches, another three around boats, including a father and his 10-year old son, one incident occurred in a public pool in Yerushalayim and another in a private pool in northern Israel.