Man who died of hypothermia identified

Two people hiking in Zavitan Stream force rescue teams to work in dangerous weather conditions.

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Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 09:43

The Zavitan Stream
The Zavitan Stream
Doron Horowitz/Flash90

Dekel Segev, 41, was identified on Friday morning as the man who died of hypothermia while rappelling in the Zavitan Stream in Israel's Golan Heights.

Segev was found unconscious on Thursday night. Israel Air Force's Rescue Unit 669 administered medical treatment and transported him via helicopter to Poriya Hospital, where doctors were forced to declare his death.

A resident of Kiryat Malachi in southern Israel, Segev is survived by his wife and five children.

Earlier on Thursday, volunteers rescued an additional hiker in the Golan Heights, who was not injured.

Searching in pouring rain, the volunteers hiked through the mud and stream in their efforts to find the hiker.

"These complex rescue operations in the Zavitan Stream were necessary because of the irresponsibility of two hikers, who chose to ignore safety precautions and the site's rules, which forbid rappelling during this time of year," Israel Nature and Parks Authority Security Head Yossi Friedman said. "Entering this area of the stream - Hanakik Hashahor - is forbidden from November 1 until May, and is permitted only after the water level and current strength drop, and after the temperature rises. Even during the summer, rappelling is only permitted for organized groups with a licensed guide, and the site management must be notified ahead of time."

"These hikers endangered not only themselves but the rescue teams as well. These teams, which included site supervisors, were forced to work in extremely stormy and rainy weather, which greatly complicated their mission.

"We call on hikers to act responsibly and keep to the safety rules during winter hikes. These rules are: Do not enter or cross flowing streams; do not stand on the banks of a river during a flood; do not hike in areas where there is a danger of slipping; do not take extra risks; and keep the life-saving safety rules."