Dutch man, 55, drowns while rescuing kids in Israel

A 55-year-old man from Putten drowned in Israel on Saturday while trying to help two children who got into trouble in the ocean. Another Dutch man was injured. Both children were rescued and are unharmed, Omroep Gelderland reports.

The Putten man was traveling in Israel with a group of 30 people from the Putten Andreas Church. He drowned on the last day of the trip, during a visit to a beach in Tel Aviv, according to the broadcaster.

The man and the minister of the church came into action when they saw two children having trouble in the water. Leander Mattheus from Amsterdam is on holiday in Israel with his family and saw the whole incident happen from the beach. "They tried ot help the kids from the side. But it looked like the man slipped and landed in the water. The sea was really rough, partly because of the strong wind", he said to Omroep Gelderland. 

The two children were rescued from the waves, but the Putten man disappeared under water. The minister was thrown against the rocks and was injured. He spent a short time in hospital, but has since been discharged. 

Surfers, jet-skis and a boat went searching for the Dutch man. The jet skis were eventually able to reach him, but it was too late to help him. "After that he was resuscitated on the beach. It was hard to watch, but it attracted a lot of attention. As far as I am concerned, the man is a hero", Mattheus said to the broadcaster. 

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that a Dutch man died in Israel, but could give no further details on Sunday.