This video will introduce you to Yechiel “Hilik” Magnus, Israel’s top search and rescue expert who has spent the last 25+ years involved in thousands of search and rescue operations internationally from missing persons to lost hikers or rafters to kidnapping and hostage victims to medical evacuations to humanitarian missions after tsunamis to locating the body of a rabbi after the attack on the Chabad house in Mumbai in 2008.
“People call from all over for my help. Every day there is another story,” Magnus said on Israel21c. “Most of the people who contact me are afraid because their traveling child is not calling or responding to messages. Mostly there are happy endings.”
“During the last 22 years, we have had only one failure,” Magnus continued. “We looked for a missing boy in Manali, in the north of India, and couldn’t find him. For every other job we found solutions.”
Magnus was born in Sweden, but moved to Israel when he was only a year old, just after the 1948 War of Independence, the International Fellowship of Jews and Christians reported. He served in the IDF and supported Israel several skirmishes with Arab forces over the years before directing a nature conservation endeavor in southern Israel and the Sinai Peninsula for several years.
It was this brutally harsh desert climate where he first learned some of his search and rescue techniques. Magnus began his search and rescue efforts in a volunteer capacity, but the endeavor grew as he as his wife founded Magnus International Search and Rescue in Ramat Gan in 1994 which has expanded into an international search and rescue operation as well as an advisory resource for foreign governments.
“My only motivation is to help people. I do it because I know how,” Magnus stated. “It’s a very hard, frustrating job. But when someone approaches me and I know I can help, I cannot resist.”
Written by Erin Parfet