Long Beach teacher disappears while surfingBy TANIA LOPEZ
July 25, 2011
A Long Beach High School math teacher and founder of the campus surf club disappeared Sunday while surfing off the coast of South Sumatra, Indonesia, family members said.
Daniel Bobis, 32, was in an area where waves as high as 9 feet were reported Sunday off a beach popular with surfers when his board washed up on shore, according to a Facebook note by his wife, Rachel.
In her note, which was posted at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Bobis, who was with her husband in South Sumatra, wrote she was having trouble obtaining a helicopter for a search and that the U.S. consulate had been contacted.
A dive team was scheduled to do a search this morning, according to Bobis.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bobis' disappearance sparked a vigil last night that attracted more than 200 friends, relatives and high school students to the Long Beach boardwalk.
Dave Juan, the co-owner of the Unsound Surf Shop in Long Beach, said Bobis is popular among the seaside city's surf community.
"The whole town is in shock. The kids love him," Juan said. "He was in the water all the time" and is known as an experienced surfer.
Daniel Bobis created Long Beach High School's first surf team, said Teresa Greifenberger, whose son Jonathan, 15, is on the team.
"He's loved by everybody in the neighborhood," she said. "He's an amazing guy."
Long Beach Public Schools Superintendent Dave Weiss issued a statement yesterday calling Bobis a well-respected colleague who is a vital part of the school community and one who is well-liked by students and staff. Weiss said the district went as far as seeking out Sen. Charles Schumer's help.
In a statement, Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "No stone should be left unturned" and that Mr. Bobis' family "must have every iota of assistance available from the U.S. government during this difficult time."
Attempts to reach Rachel Bobis at the surf resort where the couple is staying with another couple were unsuccessful. A man who said he was the husband of the resort owner said he and others, including Rachel Bobis, had spent all of Sunday looking for Daniel Bobis.
The resort owner's husband, who did not wish to be identified, said last night they were waiting for the sun to rise to resume the search. Other guests at the surfing resort were joining in as well, he said.
Reached at home, Bobis' mother, Gloria, of Long Beach, said she was too overwhelmed to comment on her son's disappearance but she said that local and U.S. government authorities had been "very helpful."
Rep. Peter King said he is speeding up the process to get Bobis' mother a renewed passport. King said Bobis should have her passport renewed by this morning so she could travel to Indonesia.
King (R-Seaford) also said he has been in contact with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy to see what additional help they could provide in locating Bobis.
"We're asking the State Department to do anything they can," King said last night.
Another Rachel Bobis Facebook note said Daniel Bobis' father was on his way to Indonesia yesterday.
The remote and rural beach is located in the southwestern-most part of the island of Sumatra, northwest of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, on the Indian Ocean.