(VIDEO & PHOTO LINKS AT END OF ARTICLE) The massive search is still underway in Lake Piru, California for 39-year-old Naftoli Smolyansky, who was in a boat on the lake with his 9-year-old son and his two daughters, ages 5 and 7. At approximately 6:00PM on Monday afternoon, his youngest daughter fell overboard and he jumped in to save her. He managed to push daughter back into the boat, and she made it back safely, but he R”L went under and did not resurface.
A YWN reporter on the scene reports of the amazing Kiddush Hashem which is ongoing in Los Angeles. Hundreds of people have been volunteering their time, and doing shifts in search boats on the lake.
On Wednesday, there were SCUBA divers deployed in the waters from Oxnard County, Los Angeles County, and the Ventura County Sheriff Dept.
The American Red cross is there, along the Office of Emergency Management. and as well as Auxiliary Coast Guard.
There were a total of 3 choppers over the water on Wednesday: two privately funded by local Askanim, and one from Ventura County. There is also a search and rescue dog which is trained to smell bodies in the water.
The Ventura County Sheriffs Department, along with the Park Rangers have been tremendously cooperative with the search efforts. They have graciously given Los Angeles Hatzolah a bungalow with a kitchen, an office area for their command center and a large eating area.
A dedicated group of women continue to provide massive amounts of food to keep the volunteers going. All of the Los Angeles kosher stores and restaurants have been participating with making regular deliveries as well. Minyanim for Shachris, Mincha and Maariv are continuing at the scene (as can be seen in the YWN photos).
As we prepare to post this article, we have received word that Hatzolah volunteers from as far away as Montreal are scheduled to make their way to the Los Angeles area.
The Los Angeles Hatzolah is coordinating a very organized search. They are keeping an exact head-count, and know which people are in which boat at any given time. All boats in the marina being rented by LA Hatzolah, and are out on the water from 7:00AM, until 7:30PM – which are the times when searching is permitted by the authorities.
Additionally, Hatzolah is currently looking for as many volunteers as possible for the search on Thursday. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org ONLY if you are available to search on Thursday. Do NOT email for ANY other reason! be those volunteering to search.
The following short note was written by an LA Hatzolah Coordinator:
On behalf of the family, the entire community, and Hatzolah of Los Angeles, I would sincerely like to thank all the volunteers that came down to search or offered services/items. It was much needed and appreciated. Also thanks to everyone else that has done something to help, I can’t start singling out…
Hatzolah of Los Angeles
Maran Hagon Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita encourages the entire Kehilla of LA to attend Yom
Kippur Koton Tefillos - even the Noshim Tzidkonios. If the Noshim are unable to got to Shul they should say the Selichos of Yom Kippur Koton at home with out the “Yud-Gimmel Midos”. This should be a Zechus to help Naftali ben Alexander.
Please be Mispallel for Naftali ben Anna (mother) [father - Alexander] that he should be found. Tremendous Siyata Dishmaya is needed – as the waters are very murky, and extremly difficult to search.
(YWN LA – Hilly / Yehuda Drudgestein / YW-153 / YW-106)