An eight-year-old Israeli boy was swept out nearly two miles into the Dead Sea last Thursday and floated there in the dark for five hours until rescue crews managed to locate him.
The boy was swimming at a crowded public beach with his father and older brother when a strong northern wind pulled him further away from the shore just as everyone else was getting out. He tried to call for help, but was not heard amidst the commotion.
The boy's father noted shortly after getting out of the water that his son was missing, and area emergency crews were called in. However, the rescue efforts were hindered by darkness. They would have been hindered further if not for the use of satellite equipment that enabled rescue crews to avoid searching the same areas twice.
The boy was eventually found floating quietly in the high-buoyancy water. Ha'aretz reported that he later told medical teams that he remembered not to drink the highly saline water, a fact that likely saved his life.