JERUSALEM – An 8-year-old Israeli boy spent six hours floating in the Dead Sea alone at night after his father left him there by accident during a family trip, police said Sunday.
The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth and one of Israel’s most popular tourist attractions, has an abnormally high salt concentration that allows swimmers to float on the surface.
Rescue workers said the boy, Shneur Zalman Friedman, of Jerusalem, was in the sea with his father and two brothers on Thursday evening when currents swept him away from shore.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the family was part of a large group visiting a beach reserved for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men – who do not bathe in the presence of women.
His father left the water with other members of the group and only noticed the boy was missing as darkness fell, Rosenberg said.
A search by police helicopters and volunteers in motorboats finally found Friedman about two miles from the shore early Friday after six hours in the strong-smelling, corrosive water, Yehuda Meshi-Zahav of the Zaka rescue organization said.