Kind, caring and an all around “really nice guy” is how many locals are describing missing Long Beach surfer Daniel Bobis.
Shockwaves were sent through the community early Sunday morning as news broke that Bobis went missing off the coast of Indonesia while surfing. He was on a summer surfing expedition with his wife, Rachel, and a friend when he disappeared. Jay Spitz, a friend and colleague, previously told Patch that they had found his surfboard after he went missing, but had not been able to locate Bobis.
As a math teacher at Long Beach High School, advisor to the school’s surf team, co-founder of the Long Beach Surfer’s Association and surfing enthusiast, Bobis is well known and respected within the Long Beach community, according to friends.
Local surfers reacted with hope Monday, waiting for some good news to come out of a tragic situation. Some reflected on Bobis’ positive contributions, while others were still in shock over the situation.
Luke Hamlet, the owner of Long Beach Surf Shop, explained that he has known Bobis since he was a young kid coming into the store.
“I kind of saw him grow up,” he said. “Rachel used to work here.”
Many fellow surfers were surprised at the incident because of his knowledge of surfing the conditions and overall athletic ability.
“If anyone was in shape or knew the conditions around the world, it was him,” said Hamlet. “So I think that is in his favor.”
"I know him pretty well because we surf at Laurelton like everyday,” said T.J. Gumiela, a Long Beach surfer. “He is a really nice guy and he really knows how to surf. I don’t know what happened.”
Unsound Surf Shop co-owner Dave Juan said that everybody in Long Beach is supporting Bobis' wife and the family. They are in complete shock, he added.
“We can only imagine how Rachel is right now,” Juan said. “This is someone who I cannot remember surfing a hurricane swell without... All of the kids who he has touched - all of the kids who have a big smile on their faces because of him.”
Surfer Ed Uehlinger, who knows Bobis through his work with kids, stated that “he does wonderful things for the kids” and is a “great guy.”
“Even kids who didn’t surf loved him because he was one of those teachers that the kids confide in,” he said. “He relates to the kids well. It is just devastating.”
“Hopefully we will hear some good news in the next day,” Hamlet added. “It is hard to believe that it happened 36 hours ago. So much has happened since.”
A fund has been set up to assist the Bobis family with travel expenses, a helicopter rental and other things related to the search. Those who wish to donate can go to Paypal.com and give money to “DannyBobisFund@Gmail.com." All donations will go directly towards Bobis' family.
Friends of the family are asking for help in urging the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta to send a helicopter to search for Bobis. The Embassy can be reached by calling (62)(21) 3435-9000 or visiting their website.