Five, Including 12-year-old, Drown as Public Ignores Lifeguard Warnings

Five people drowned off beaches between Nahariya and Ashkelon over the weekend as bathers ignored black warning flags and lifeguards' advice to stay out of the sea on both Friday and Saturday.

A 12-year-old boy drowned off a Netanya beach yesterday. About 2:30 P.M. two rescue teams and ambulances were dispatched to the city's Argaman beach.

"When we arrived the lifeguards were resuscitating the boy," Magen David Adom paramedic Ophir Jarmon said. "We continued the resuscitation including advanced medical treatment and chest massages. Half an hour later he was declared dead," he said.

Michael Abramovitch, 37, of Ramat Gan, drowned at a beach with no lifeguards in Herzliya. After entering the water he appeared distressed and was pulled out. Paramedic Motti Kushnir said "when we reached the place, lifeguards were trying to resuscitate him. We continued in vain and half an hour later had to pronounce him dead."

A 37-year-old man drowned yesterday near the Neve Yam beach off the Atlit coast. He had entered the sea with a friend and was swept into deep water. His friend called for help and marine police, the navy and volunteers searched for an hour before his lifeless body was found.

A 20-year-old man was pulled out of the water yesterday after almost drowning off the Beit Yanai coast. Magen David Adom teams were able to resuscitate him, and he was taken in serious condition to Hadera's Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center.

In another near drowning, lifeguards pulled a 70-year-old man in distress out of rough sea at Ashkelon's Bar Kochva beach. Paramedics took him to the city's Barzilai Medical Center in serious condition.

A young man almost drowned off the Achziv coast and was pulled unconscious from the water by other bathers. He was taken to the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya in serious condition. A man who swam to his rescue returned to land suffering from exhaustion and was treated on the beach by paramedics.

A 33-year-old man was hospitalized in the Western Galilee Hospital in serious condition after nearly drowning yesterday in the swimming pool in Kabul village in the Galilee.

A 70-year-old woman drowned Friday morning off Tel Aviv's Frischman beach. Her identity is still unknown. She was pulled from the water at about 8:30 after a passerby noticed her distress. Attempts to resuscitate her failed.

That evening, a resident of Jisr al-Zarqa, 46, drowned off the Haifa coast, between the Students' and Kshatotbeaches. A rescue team tried in vain to resuscitate him. Earlier in the day a 22-year-old woman almost drowned at Kshatot beach. She was taken in moderate condition to Haifa's Rambam Medical Center.