British Tourist Drowns in Israel

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.

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