Local patrol keeps looking for NY Jewish paddleboarder as Coast Guard suspends search


NEW YORK (JTA) — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a Jewish man who disappeared off the coast of New York’s Long Island, but a local safety patrol is continuing to look for him.

On Tuesday, the Coast Guard quit its search for Gary Turkel, 41, who was last seen paddleboarding without a life jacket at Atlantic Beach on Sunday afternoon and was reported missing that evening.

According to the Long Island Herald, the Rockaway Nassau Safety Patrol is continuing the search with volunteers from the New York area using helicopters, planes, personal waterfront vehicles and all-terrain vehicles lent for the purpose.

“We have been involved in this 24/7 since Sunday,” the patrol’s Shmuel Kassover told the Herald.

The search will continue until the beginning of Shabbat on Friday evening.

“Then we will see what should be done,” Kassover said. “This is draining and not easy.”

The Long Beach Patch reported that the Coast Guard had searched for 70 hours, with crews covering 3,141 nautical miles, before stopping.

“We treat every search effort as if we were searching for one of our own family members,” Captain Edward Cubanski III, commander of the Coast Guard’s Long Island Sound sector, said in a news release, according to Patch. “I would like to send my deepest sympathy and heartfelt thoughts out to the family and friends of Mr. Turkel during this tragic time.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Turkel is a global manager of the market specialist team at Bloomberg, the financial data provider, and has a master’s degree in business from New York University.

Rabbi Ari Perl of the Jewish Center of Atlantic Beach said in a Facebook post Monday evening: “Our friend and member, Gary Turkel, has been missing since yesterday. The agony his family is experiencing is unimaginable; ANY legitimate information, including sighting or recovery of his paddle board, could make a huge difference in the search and should be reported immediately.”

He added: “The family is surrounded by relatives and close friends and asks that we respect their privacy during this incredibly difficult time.”

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