Israeli Soldier Swept Away by River in Fatal Training Accident

The paratrooper was on a navigation exercise when he slipped in the turbulent river. His body was found several hundred meters away

Paratroopers and search teams in the Hilazon Stream area, January 7, 2019.
Firefighter's Spokesperson's Office

An Israeli paratrooper, Sgt. Eviatar Yossefi, died on Monday while on a navigation exercise in northern Israel after falling into a stream.

Yossefi was found near the northern city of Carmiel hundreds of meters away from the spot where he fell and was pronounced dead en route to the hospital.

The Israel Defense Force is investigating the cause of death and has ordered a halt to all navigation exercises.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said the fighters were in an advanced stage of training and had gone on an exercise that included solitary navigation, in which a soldier must head out alone and reach a few destinations marked ahead of time. Yossefi got to the Hilazon stream where he joined another soldier, and they decided to cross the stream together despite the strong currents.

One of them succeeded in crossing but Yossefi slipped and fell into the water. The soldier who made it tried to assist Yossefi but did not manage, and notified their commander. Searches were launched early Monday morning.

Northern Israel has seen a lot of rainfall in recent days. The army said, however, that preliminary findings showed the weather was sufficiently dry for the navigation exercise and that there was no rainfall at the time of the exercise. Two other soldiers required medical treatment after heading into the stream to help with the search.