Infant Drowns on Porch of Her Galilee Home

A 13-month-old girl drowned in a rain-filled rubber boat on the porch of her Galilee home yesterday afternoon.

The girl had been playing in the yard of her home in Yesod Ham'alah, in the Hula Valley, before she either climbed or slipped into the boat, which the children in the family sometimes used as a small swimming pool.

The girl's father found her unconscious a short time later and called an ambulance.

Paramedics attempted to revive the child - whose name her parents, Einav and Anat Vaspi, asked not be published - but after prolonged efforts pronounced her dead at the scene.

Police investigating

Police opened an investigation into the death of the girl, who is survived by her parents and four older sisters.

Babies can drown in water of less than 10 centimeters, said Orly Silbinger, who heads the children's health and safety center Beterem, adding that even buckets can become death traps.

Silbinger urged parents to supervise babies and toddlers at all times and keep potentially dangerous items out of their reach.

Fourteen children, including two infants, drowned in Israel last year, Beterem said. Most such incidents occur quickly and silently, with the child having no chance to alert caregivers by screaming or crying.

This is not the first tragedy to hit the Vaspi family.

The girl's father, Einav, whose family helped found the community, lost his father and brother in combat. His father, Yoav, was killed in the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War, and his brother Arnon died in a military operation in Lebanon.