Israeli rescuers searching Ecuador river for hiker

(JTA) — Israeli rescue specialists joined the search for a 21-year-old Jewish man from Munich who may have fallen into the Pastaza River in Ecuador.

Two Israeli search specialists joined the other emergency teams Wednesday looking for Jonathan Simon, the fire department in Quito confirmed to the Ecuadorian online newspaper El Universo. The newspaper reported that a kayak search team already had been deployed, with no result reported as of Wednesday.

Simon and a friend were visiting the area around the so-called Devil’s Cauldron waterfall on Aug. 6 when they became separated. The two had tried to cross the river, according to reports. Only the friend, Damian Kastil, made it across.

A massive plea for help in locating Simon was launched Tuesday on Facebook. The website of the Jewish community of Munich posted the plea, as well. Simon’s parents have flown to Quito from Israel.

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