Girl, 12, Rescues 43-year-old Man From Drowning in Lake Kinneret

Eilat windsurfer pulls father of competitor from water

A 12-year-old windsurfer from Eilat, Gil Zarviv, saved the life of a drowning 43-year-old man during a windsurfing competition at Lake Kinneret on Saturday afternoon.

The afternoon's strong winds made conditions rough for those participating in the event, which took place at Kibbutz Ginosar.

Yair Palensiya of Givat Avni, the father of one of the younger competitors, was in the judges' boat during the competition when the wind blew his hat into the water.

Palensiya, who was not wearing a life jacket, jumped into the water after his hat and was quickly pulled away by the current. The judges threw him a flotation device, but he was unable to catch it, and as the current continued pulling him, he began to tire.

The judges then spotted the sixth-grader from Eilat and asked her to head in his direction. She managed to pull Palensiya out of the water and place him on her board.

A rescue boat carried him to shore, and he was taken to Poriya Hospital in Tiberias.

The young windsurfer was the first person in the competition to be awarded a prize - for bravery and assisting a person in need of help.

"I was about to lose all strength," Palensiya told Haaretz. "Gil arrived just in time."