WEDNESDAY UPDATES FROM VIRGINIA: Search Continues For Rabbi Reuven Bauman, Swept Out To Sea While Saving Student


UPDATE 5:40PM: Dozens of volunteers from various organizations from NY, NJ and Baltimore have all joined the search in Virginia.

Joining Achiezer and Haztzolah Air who have been searching all day, are volunteers from Misaskim of Baltimore and Baltimore Shomrim who have arrived with boats. Hatzolah members from NY are on the scene as well. One group of volunteers arrived from Toms River, NJ, with a few jet skis.

There are around 8 aircraft searching the waters, including airplanes and helicopters.

Jet skis and boats are working from the water, and volunteers are walking the shorelines, in hopes of finding Rabbi Reuven Bauman.

“He acted heroically,” Coast Guard Lt. Steve Arguelles said about Bauman.

Arguelles said the search was suspended about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“It’s always a hard decision, and it’s not one we make lightly,” he told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

The Coast Guard searched about 347 square nautical miles, or about 459 square miles, Arguelles added.

Despite the Coast Guard suspending their search, the Virginia Beach Fire Department and the Virginia Marine Police are continuing their search.

UPDATE 12:30PM: Local media in Virginia are reporting that the U.S. Coast Guard has suspended search efforts on Wednesday at noon. YWN sources on the ground report that despite that report, there are still U.S. Coast Guard cutters in the water searching.

Virginia Beach Fire Department and the Virginia Marine Police are continuing their search, as police boats are currently in the water and a chopper is scanning the shorelines.

Misaskim and Shomrim from Baltimore are enroute, and are making their way to Virginia along with a boat to assist in searching the water.

COMMSAR from NY have joined the search as well. The Virginia Beach Police Department is out in vessels combing through the water. Hatzolah Air also has an airplane searching from above. The rangers will also be going up and down the shoreline with ATV’s every few hours in the hope that a clue washes up. There are many dolphins in the area, which forces searchers to discern between true and false sightings. The search area is bordered on the south by a heavily populated beach in North Carolina, which allows us to confine the search effort, as any activity there will be noted by the public.

The US Fish and Wildlife has jurisdiction over the search area as it is a national wildlife refuge. As per the park rangers request, any responding agency should sign in at the COMMSAR command center to ensure safety and efficiency. No additional civil volunteers are needed at this point.

The search is continuing Wednesday morning for Rabbi Reuven Tzvi ben Esther Baila Bauman, who went missing in the waters at a Virginian beach on Tuesday.

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the day, YWN is updating this developing tragedy on our WhatsApp status. Click this link – or send a message to 1-888-4-YW-NEWS (888-499-6397) – to see our status posts.

As YWN has been reporting, Rabbi Bauman, 35-years-old, was at the beach at False Cape State Park with around 20 campers from a local day camp when a 13-year-old student was caught in a sudden rip current. Rabbi Bauman immediately entered the water to save the boy who was able to make it out of the water. Unfortunately, Rabbi Bauman was swept out to sea and has not been seen since.

Baltimore Shomrim heading to Virginia

Rabbi Reuven Bauman is a Rebbi at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Norfolk Virginia.

Emergency personnel from various organizations in the new York area are on the scene, and others are in the process of deploying.

The Achiezer Organization is working with the Coast Guard, and coordinating the search efforts. An aircraft from Hatzolah Air, along with specially trained search and rescue personnel have arrived and are currently overhead scanning the waters and shorelines. Rockland Chaveirim are in the process of deploying a specialized team with sonar – used for searching underwater.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. and a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Little Creek are currently searching for the man. Crews from the Virginia Beach Fire Department and the Virginia Marine Police are also assisting with the search.

Baltimore Misaskim as they departed for Virginia

Text messages have been going around asking for volunteers, but search coordinators tell YWN that besides for a volunteers from Norfolk, as of this time they do not want any other volunteers walking the shoreline – as the entire beach is not a safe area. Only people who are on boats and in the air [and authorized to join the search] should be coming.

A Charidy campaign has been set up for the family.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. This is becoming one of the most tragic occurrences for the frum community in a while (at least in my lifetime). Sadly, R’L there are terror attacks in Israel and around the world, diseases, and fatal accidents throughout the year. This particular situation is especially frightening and different because God Forbid we may never end up knowing what happened to Reuven (the vastness and depths of the ocean are practically infinite), a proper Jewish burial would be physically, religiously, and emotionally difficult, and the question of an Agunah would need to be ruled by prominent Gedolim. We hope and daven for a positive outcome.

  2. such a tragedy–sometimes people can think the ocean is just a large lake–the ocean can go from beauty to a beast in a millisecond.

  3. רְאוּבֵן בְּכֹרִי אַתָּה כֹּחִי וְרֵאשִׁית אוֹנִי יֶתֶר שְׂאֵת, וְיֶתֶר עָז; *פַּחַז כַּמַּיִם אַל-תּוֹתַר* – פחז לשון בהלה, רצת למים במסירות נפש, אל תותר, לא השארת מעצמך כלום, כִּי עָלִיתָ מִשְׁכְּבֵי אָבִיךָ, תעלה ממעמקי מים לשכב עם אביך, אָז חִלַּלְתָּ יְצוּעִי עָלָה. אמן
    The words of the blessing of Reuven can be understood to say that he ran into the water without delay and sacrificing himself completely, but he will rise up and rest with his fathers, his body will rise up.

  4. just to correct tschoumi- the family received a psak that after 48 hours of not seeing a person in such a situation r”l, one is requiered to sit shiva. if there is no good news beforehand, the family will start sitting Thursday afternoon.
    this does not mean that we are giving up! the family asks to please continue to daven for Reuven Tzvi -n Esther Baila.
    Besuros Tovos.

  5. מי כעמך ישראל גוי אחד בארץ!! – Who is like Your people ….Displayed on so many levels amidst this story…Truly deserving the title the Am Hashem

  6. Also amazing that so many were willing to come from as far away as New York and Baltimore to help local authorities search for the body. They should hopefully have success to bring quick closure to the family in this time of tragedy.


    See Pishchei Teshuvah 3 there, it is a machlokes if one could sit shiva to a certain degree.

    In any case, it is clear that it is only in a case when all hope is lost.
    מאימתי מונים משנתיאשו לבקש
    I don’t think this is the case…

    As for Agunah, there are some heterim (after 12 month only I think) nowadays that communication is available from any part of the world.

  8. What no one has stressed is that children should be taught that people should NEVER go into the water when there are no lifeguards on duty, particularly when there are riptides.