The US Coast Guard has called off the search for a rabbi who jumped into the ocean in a state park in Virginia, to save a student who was having trouble returning to shore, local media reported Wednesday
Coast Guard Lt. Steve Arguelles told the Virginian Pilot that the decision was made after a calculation of the likelihood that Rabbi Reuven Bauman survived.
“It’s always a hard decision, and it’s not one we make lightly,” Arguelles said.
Arguelles added that the 13-year-old student, who was at False Cape State Park on Tuesday afternoon with about 20 others from a local yeshiva, was safe after the rabbi “acted heroically.”
Bauman, 35, a teacher at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Norfolk, Virginia, is listed on the school’s website as teaching 7th and 8th grade secular studies and 3rd grade Judaic studies.
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.