Virginia Beach, VA - The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a Norfolk area Jewish teacher who disappeared yesterday after attempting to rescue a student in distress in rough waters off the shores of Virginia Beach.

Petty Officer Stephen Lehman told VIN News that the search and rescue operation for the teacher, identified as Rabbi Reuven Bauman, had been called off as of 11:25 this afternoon.

The decision to end the search, which was initiated at approximately 1 PM on Tuesday, was based on numerous factors determining the potential for survival, including water temperature and conditions and Rabbi Bauman’s age and physical condition.  Lehman said that the Coast Guard will resume its efforts should there be any indication that Rabbi Bauman is still alive.

The rescue and recovery efforts for Rabbi Bauman yesterday included side sonar, grid searching, boats and helicopters said Bruce Nedelka, public information officer for Virginia Beach Emergency Medical Services. Water searches were suspended as of 5:30 PM Tuesday, with park rangers patrolling the beach throughout the night.  Water recovery efforts were launched again before first light this morning.

As previously reported on VIN News (, Rabbi Bauman, a Judaic and secular studies teacher at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in Portsmouth, went missing yesterday at False Cape State Park. The park is located south of the Sandpiper beach area where red warning flags were flying, warning beachgoers of rough waters and is a no swimming area where no lifeguards are stationed.

“It is saddening when none of our efforts are able to produce a rescue and it winds up a recovery,” Nedelka told VIN News.  “We hurt and we feel bad for the family and those involved. Our hearts and prayers go out to those involved.”