Four days after the Coast Guard suspended its search for a Norfolk rabbi who disappeared into the water south of Virginia Beach, volunteer search crews found a body believed to be his.
35-year-old Rabbi Reuven Bauman, also a camp counselor, was on the beach with a day camp group at False Cape State Park last Tuesday, when a 13-year-old student began to struggle in the rip tide.
Bauman went in to save the child, according to the Coast Guard, and didn’t resurface. USCG and other agencies searched for him by helicopter and boat, but had no luck. The Coast Guard suspended its search after covering 347 square miles of the water.
Jewish volunteer organizations from up and down the East Coast picked up the search, renting their own boats and equipment. Some searched on jet skis, from aircraft, and some walked the beach, according to Baltimore County, Maryland-based group Misaskim of Maryland.
The head of the group, Aryeh Leib Freedman, noted many of the volunteers traveled from hundreds of miles away, and didn’t know Rabbi Bauman. It was Misaskim of Maryland who eventually located the body they believe is Bauman’s.
“When one person grieves, we all grieve,” said Freedman. “Now we hope the family and Norfolk community can begin the healing process to mourn the loss of this great man.”
-Meg Walburn Viviano