TEL AVIV (Apr. 22)
A British tourist drowned Tuesday after falling off a rowboat in a turbulent stretch of the upper Jordan River.
The victim, identified as Clive Max Heller, 45, of London, and his son were on an organized outing under the leadership of a presumably experienced river guide.
Their boat encountered rapids caused by the excessive flow of water from Lake Kinneret into the Jordan following a winter of abnormal rainfall that raised the level of the lake.
Heller reportedly stood up in the boat and toppled over, hitting his head on a submerged rock before being washed away.
His body was discovered Wednesday, wedged between rocks near Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi, a mile downstream. His son was treated for shock.
Police are investigating whether the outing was organized by an experienced, licensed company or a fly-by-night outfit taking advantage of the heavy influx of tourists for the Passover and Easter holidays.