Emergency crews on Monday recovered the body of a New York rabbi who drowned after jumping into a lake to rescue two of his children.
Greenwood Lake police said 38-year-old David Traub rented a pontoon boat Sunday from a marina in New Jersey. His family then traveled out on the lake, which stretches about seven miles between West Milford, New Jersey, and Orange County in New York.
Two of Traub’s seven children went swimming around 5:20 p.m. but eventually struggled to get back in the boat, so Traub entered the water to help them. Traub got the two boys, aged 8 and 10, safely back into the boat, but he then disappeared underwater.
Greenwood Lake Police Chief John Hansen told local media outlets that Traub jumped into the water even though he could not swim.
“He probably became exhausted and couldn’t swim. Apparently he was clothed but everything remains under investigation,” Hansen said. Both boys were wearing their life jackets, he added.
Authorities soon began a search, but it was suspended Sunday night due to severe weather. The search resumed early Monday, and Traub’s body was found shortly before noon.
According to local news reports, Traub was the head of a school and synagogue at Bais Medrosh Elyon in Monsey.
Chaverim of Rockland, a local Jewish first responder group that aided the search, said Traub’s funeral was held Monday night and that his body will be transported to Israel for burial.
Last month, Rabbi Reven Bauman from New York drowned after jumping in the ocean to rescue his 13-year old student who was struggling to return to shore during a class trip to Virginian Beach. His body was found a week later by authorities, who praised Bauman for “acting heroically.”
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