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Israel Photography by Yoav Cohen

The Netz - Shipwrecked on Habonim Beach

The Netz Shipwreck, Habonim Beach

Take a walk along the Habonim Beach, just north of Caesarea, and you will encounter the rusting hull of The Netz, a fishing boat that has been resting here for over 50 years.

Unlike the wrecks in Jaffa and Arsuf Kedem, time the tide right, and you can explore the wreck yourself as I recently did, right on the beach.

But how did it get here?

As it turns out, the story of this vessel is one with repetitive bad luck.

Built with pride in the 1960s in Haifa by Yitzhak Ariel, the boat was originally named Elisheva, after Ariel's sister. She was a fishing vessel custom made to fit the entrances of ports along Israel's coast, with a hull designed to ease navigation over the shallow rocks of ports like Ashdod and Jaffa.

Despite the care he put into planning and building the Elisheva, just one year after she first set sail, Ariel found himself in financial trouble, and was forced to sell his pride and joy.

The boat was taken over by a crew from Jaffa, who also re-christened the ship "The Netz" (hawk in Hebrew). She continued to be used as a fishing trawler, and was put into periodic service to tow smaller boats when needed.

The Netz Shipwreck, Habonim Beach