A teenage boy was surfing Sunday morning off Nitzanim beach in the Ashkelon Beach Regional Council when he suddenly lost control of his surfboard and plunged into the water. The boy lost consciousness and did not resurface.
Luckily, another surfer noticed the surfboard floating on its own, and thinking that the board somehow got away from its owner began pulling it back to the beach. At some point, he realized that the board was attached to the leg of a submerged boy.
The surfer signaled to people on the beach that he needed help and others, including the lifeguard, rushed to assist in bringing the boy and his surfboard back to the beach. At the same time, someone on the beach called emergency services for help.
United Hatzalah’s dispatch and command center issued an alert to the nearest first responders in the area, one of whom was Dr. Yonatan Bar-Nur who works at the Intensive care Unit in Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital and lives in the nearby town of Nitzan.
Dr. Bar-Nur dropped whatever he was doing and rushed over to the nearby beach on his ambucycle. He was the first emergency medical personnel to arrive at the scene and found a group of people around the boy who was still unconscious.
“Someone had attached a defibrillator to the boy’s chest and I found the boy unconscious but breathing,” Dr. Bar-Nur recalled. “I intubated him right away and a lot of liquid came out of the boy’s lungs. Within just a few moments I was joined by another United Hatzalah volunteer from Nitzan, Chaim Fried, and we protected the boy’s airway and monitored his condition until the arrival of a mobile intensive care ambulance.”
Once the ambulance arrived, the boy was taken to Barzilai hospital and placed in the pediatric intensive care ward. Dr. Bar-Nur works in the adult intensive care ward but has been able to visit the boy and check in on his condition. “The boy is still sedated and intubated, but he is making improvements and his prognosis is hopeful. I’m planning to keep checking in on him as the day continues,” he reported.
“This boy is alive because of the quick thinking of the person who spotted him, the efforts by those on the beach to rescue him, and our quick response and treatment.” Dr. Bar-Nur concluded. “I am thankful that I was able to be a part of helping him and giving him the best chance of survival that he has. I hope that he makes a full recovery and that he gets another chance at life in this new year.”