Two Israelis Missing After Raft Capsizes in Peruvian River

Foreign Ministry is in contact with six others who were on the raft on the Apurimac River. Israeli consul in Lima and local teams are coordinating search.

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A stretch of the Apurimac River in Peru.
A stretch of the Apurimac River in Peru.Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Two Israelis are missing after their raft overturned on the Apurimac River in Peru.

The Foreign Ministry said in a Tuesday statement that eight people were on the raft. The ministry said it was in contact with six of them, who were on their way to Cusco and were expected to get there in a few hours.

"We confirm that at this stage two Israelis are missing and families have been notified," the ministry said.

The Department of Israelis Abroad, an agency within the Foreign Ministry, said that a search for the two missing Israelis continues through two local teams and an insurance company.

"The Israeli consul in Lima, together with embassy staff and the Department of Israelis Abroad, are in constant contact with local authorities, rescue officials and the insurance company during the search efforts," the ministry statement said.

Rescue workers from the southeastern mountain city of Cusco are expected to arrive at the scene of the accident within the next few hours.

Rafting on the Apurimac, which is a few hours from Cusco, is very popular among Israeli backpackers. They typically take three-day trips in groups of about 20, with eight travelers and a guide per raft. The guide is responsible for navigation and giving rowing instructions.

Much of the journey is on calm water, but there are some dangerous stretches with fast-flowing water and rocks. Falling into the water is particularly dangerous at those points.

Tomer Ohayon, 22, from Rishon Letzion, was killed on the river in 2008 after falling into the water and being swept away. His body was recovered after a several-hour search.

Another Israeli died in 2006 while rafting on a different Peruvian river.