Body of Missing Israeli Found in Laos River, Three Days After Kayak Accident

Eli Ashkenazi
Eli Ashkenazi
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Eli Ashkenazi
Eli Ashkenazi

The body of Captain Avner Bardugo, an officer in the elite Air Force 669 rescue unit, was found yesterday along a tributary of the Mekong River in Laos, after his kayak capsized last Friday.

A Laotian fisherman reportedly found Bardugo's body near the shore, about 4 kilometers downstream from the site of the accident. He informed local authorities, who told the Israeli search team, which identified the body. Bardugo's body is scheduled to arrive in Israel today.

Bardugo, 25, of Ramat Yishai, is survived by his mother, an older sister and three younger brothers. Nine years ago, his father passed away.

He had taken six weeks of leave, and had been in the Far East since early July. He had completed a stint as the officer in charge of the elite unit's training, and was to receive a new position in the IAF upon his return.

His traveling companion survived the accident and helped coordinate the search effort. Bardugo's comrades from 669 arrived in order to help find their comrade. Bardugo's family also chartered a helicopter to to assist in the search.

A childhood friend of Bardugo from Ramat Yishai, Assa Morad, explained since his father died, "Avner took care of his small brothers, made sure they were studying properly, and spent every weekend with them."

"Avner's dreams revolved around helping others. He wanted to continue in the military and study within the army, and he said he would return to civilian life as a teacher and principal. He wanted to change things and inculcate values that would make the world a better place. We feel God took our angel who wanted improve the world," said Morad.

Bardugo's mother, Rama, described her son as "a friend to everyone and a true leader and survivor."

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can