Volunteer boaters recall ‘miracle tip’ that led them to body of missing rabbi

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — From near and far, first responders and volunteers converged at Back Bay Wildlife Refugee for nearly a week to locate a missing rabbi.

On July 9, 35-year-old Reuven Bauman dove into the water to help a student struggling to swim. His student made it out alive. Bauman didn’t resurface.

On Sunday, his body was found near the waters of the Virginia-North Carolina border.

Dozens of volunteers helped search for Bauman.

10 On Your Side spoke with Misaskim Maryland volunteers who traveled from Baltimore, Maryland, to assist.

“When one person in our family grieves, we all grieve,” said Areyeh Freedman, who founded the Maryland branch a year and a half ago.

Freedman says the organization is there for Jewish families during their time of mourning and that help sometimes includes search and rescue.

“Anything needed during that time, we’re there for the family to help support them,” Freedman said.

Freedman says they found out about Bauman missing last Tuesday and called the rescue command center to see if they needed help.

On Wednesday, they headed down to help and spent hours searching along with other volunteers.

Yosef Nissel was one of them out searching on Sunday.

He says some of their fellow volunteers had rented a Jeep to search by land.

Nissel and his fellow boaters were exhausted when they got a call from the Jeep owner telling him about a location they should look off shore.

“We went out a mile and right there, that’s where we found the body. It was a miracle that happened,” he said.

Although Nissel and Freedman didn’t personally know Bauman, they were committed to helping to bring him home.

“We were on the water for close to 25 hours. We were traveling for about 20 hours. It never once crossed our minds why we were doing this. We were there because someone obviously needed our help,” he said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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