Virginian state officials said they have found a body believed to be a missing rabbi who jumped into the ocean to save a student, local media reported Sunday.
Virginia Beach Police said that the body, found in the False Cape State Park on Sunday, was being examined by the Medical Examiners’ Office to determine if it is Rabbi Reven Bauman, who has been missing since last Tuesday, WKTR TV reported.
Bauman, 35, a teacher at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Norfolk, Virginia, is said to have swum out to rescue a 13-year old student who was struggling to return to shore.
On Wednesday the US Coast Guard called off the search for Bauman after an earlier calculation that he may have survived. “It’s always a hard decision, and it’s not one we make lightly,” Coast Guard Lt. Steve Arguelles told the Virginian Pilot.
Arguelles added that the 13-year-old student, who was at False Cape with about 20 others from a local yeshiva, was safe after the rabbi “acted heroically.”
A community representative said Bauman was a father of five.
Rabbi Reuven Bauman is the missing swimmer who saved a student from a rip current during a class trip yesterday near Sandbridge. A Rabbi of the B’Nai Israel Congregation confirmed thousands of people are praying for Bauman. He’s a 7th/8th grade teacher at Toras Chaim #13NewsNow pic.twitter.com/B7RYNkCcGa
— Evan Watson 13News Now (@13EvanWatson) July 10, 2019
The water on Tuesday was reported to be choppy with rip currents, and lifeguards in the area had raised a red flag, which means that swimming is prohibited, local channel ABC 13 news reported. Swimming is prohibited in that area of the state park as well.
JTA contributed to this report.