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US Coast Guard suspends search for Virginia rabbi in waters in effort to aid student

“We never make the decision to suspend lightly, and in this case, it’s especially difficult,” said Capt. Kevin Carroll, commander of Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads. “We share our deepest sympathies with the family of a man who risked his own life to save another.”

False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach, Va. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach, Va. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its nearly 24-hour search on Wednesday for a rabbi gone missing off the coast of Virginia Beach after he jumped into the ocean the previous day to rescue an 11-year-old student who was having difficulty returning to shore.

The student was caught in a rip current, according to the Coast Guard.

Rabbi Reuven Bauman, a 35-year-old teacher at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Norfolk, Va., jumped into the water to help the boy, who made it back safely.

“We never make the decision to suspend lightly, and in this particular case, it’s especially difficult,” said Capt. Kevin Carroll, commander of Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads. “We share our deepest sympathies with the family of a man who risked his own life to save another.”

“An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Little Creek searched on Tuesday for the rabbi. Crews from the Virginia Beach Fire Department and the Virginia Marine Police are also assisting with the search,” reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Local officials continued in the search at False Cape State Park.

Bauman was last spotted at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday when he helped save the student.

“According to a witness, the student who had to be rescued was on a boogie board. Swimming is not only illegal on that part of the beach but very dangerous, especially considering it was a red flag day,” reported ABC affiliate WVEC.

There were 20 others from the school, all of whom are reportedly safe.

“There is hope; we always try to search as if the people that are out there are members of our own family,” said Kevin Carroll, commander of the Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads.

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