Police Boat Breaks Down While Trying to Rescue Windsurfer

When the police were called to rescue a windsurfer who was stuck in the middle of Lake Kinneret on Wednesday night, the rescue boat broke down, and the police had to be rescued also.

Sources in the know say that the boat has suffered repeated breakdowns and was stuck at least five other times in the lake during search and rescue operations. This time, a boat belonging to a civilian had to come to its rescue.

The police base on Lake Kinneret
Gil Eliyahu

Haaretz learned that civilians had heard the windsurfer call for help, but the police could not provide assistance. Police say that the information is not accurate.

"Police vessels are used intensively along all of the country's shores on missions described as life-saving, with proven success," said a police source.

"These vessels naturally wear out and on occasion go in for repairs. The police are currently undertaking a serious procurement project for boats and rubber dinghies that will replace the existing fleet."

As for what happened in the Kinneret last Wednesday, the source said, the boat was "put out of action due to a failure of its fuel system" and will be back in operation by today.

So the boat is not is use and cannot carry out any law enforcement or search and rescue operations. Another boat that is used on the lake has been undergoing repairs in Haifa for about a year, while a rubber boat (a zodiac ), which serves the police in Lake Kinneret, is also out of action.

So, at the moment, there is no police vessel on the lake, except for a jet ski, which also suffers from minor technical problems.

"The season has began and at the start of the summer holiday tens of thousands of vacationers will come here," warned a source familiar with the issue. "Every weekend, during the summer, the police are called five to 10 times to rescue people."