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Lake Piru, CA: Massive Search Still Underway For Missing Father

9.jpg(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 [email protected] 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.

VIDEO & PHOTO LINKS: Click HERE for photos, and HERE for video.

(YWN LA – Hilly / Yehuda Drudgestein / YW-153 / YW-106)

9 Responses

  1. We hear so many sad stories happening while boating it is just unbeleavable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What can we do???????????????????

  2. Naftaly my great friend, and I know how many much mizvois he makes!

    Only this month he has ordered 1000 disks with kiruv – lessons in Russian for free distribution.

    Many, many thanks to all volunteers, and merit numerous mitsvois will be for Am Isroel malits yosher!

    Jerusalem, E. Isroel

  3. just spoke to shmulie who is heading the hatzolah command post.the volunteers are searching the entire 12 sq. mile lake .theyre not just focusing on the area known as the narrows.the dog has been able to find some scent but not enough to acutally locate reb far other than volunteers from the L.A. and the surrounding area no other official volunteers have joined the search.hatzolah from toronto canada has offered to join the search being that they R”L had this same type of operation last year at a ontario lake.there is a group of lakewood askanim who are standing by i am told by shmulie head cordinator to see if they are needed on sunday to join the has to stop and think how remarkable this is that volunteers are willing to travel accross the entire country to search as a recovery operation at this point just bec. he’s a yes it’s time to reflect on ones actions and see how we can improve are mitzvos and avodas hashem.but we also have to remember we don’t know hashems cheshbonos and maybe for this reason alone of klal yisroel joining together with such an achdus hashem decides to make a korbon tzibur to me miyached the tzibur.and if we live up to what bnai yisroel is capable of doing than that was the tafkid.may the yeshua come quick and the family have menucha and no more tzar!

  4. Besides for this amazing Kiddush Hashem that the Jewish community is doing, showing these rangers what it means to care for a fellow Jew, thought I would share another Kiddush Hashem that happended today: On the way back from Lake Piru an accident occured outside six flags which is right near lake Piru. A car was crushed against the wall with 5 teenagers (all goyim) in it by a tractor trailor- but amazingly they all got out alive. We stopped and got out to see if they were okay. Then another car stops to help- more yidden coming back from Lake Piru. Then a 3rd and even 4th car stops to help-both also yidden on the way back from the lake. These teenagers who were pretty shaken up but uninjured, as well as the firemen and EMS, were just looking at all of us wondering how, literally in hicksville on the highway in the middle of nowhere, were all these Jews offering to help them (we gave some legal advice as well!). My friend and I noticed as we got back in the car to LA, that out of all the hundreds of cars that are slowing down to gawk at the accident that happended, the only ones to stop and help were the Yidden. Who else cares? Truly inspiring.

  5. We would like to hear from volunteers from the search site how they’re holding up.what its like being part of such a great mitzvah and what they can use from the tzibur other than our tifelos of course!please accept from the entire tzibur who can’t be there with you our sincere appreciation being our shluchim may hashem repay all of you oif ah gutten oifen with gezunt and yiddisha nachas from all your childern and mishpochos that are being moser nefesh that you can be there doing this great mitzvah!

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