A search party has been trying to find a Long Beach man who disappeared Sunday morning while surfing in the Indian Ocean off the coast of a remote part of Indonesia.
Daniel Bobis, 32, was last seen catching a wave in South Sumatra but his leash broke and only his surf board washed ashore, according to a message posted on Facebook by his wife of three years, Rachel. The news sparked a beachfront vigil in the couple’s hometown and prompted friends and family to lobby for assistance from U.S. officials as well as set up a fundraiser to help with the search efforts.
“It is very difficult to see the lack of progress we are making,” his wife posted in her latest online update. “Please pray that we find him soon.”
Bobis is a popular math teacher at Long Beach High School, head of the school’s surf team and drummer in Cipher, a local hardcore/punk band. The couple was spending part of his summer break island hopping across the Southeast Asian archipelago with their friend, Brian Lonergan, when Bobis went missing.
“Danny had just taken a wave before me,” Lonergan told the New York Post. “I couldn’t see him, and a few minutes later, his board washed up on the shore.”
“The water wasn’t especially rough,” he said. “And there was nothing really abnormal about the size of the waves either. Danny is a really capable surfer and a really capable swimmer.”
A dive team has been scouring the area and a helicopter was also expected to assist in the search, although neither was readily accessible in the rural region. New York lawmakers have reportedly been pressuring local authorities to ensure they are doing all they can. Meanwhile, those back home gathered to pray for a positive outcome.
“Clearly, he’s a beloved teacher,” Principal Dr. Gaurav Passi told the Long Beach Herald at the vigil. “There is a lot of worry, and yet a great deal of hope.”
Anyone looking to donate to assist in the efforts can do so via Paypal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org