Authorities are looking for 35-year-old Guma Aguiar, who took his 31-foot vessel out Tuesday evening at around 7:30 p.m., the Sun Sentinel reports. But he was nowhere to be found when the boat was discovered on shore at about 2 a.m. Wednesday. It was found upright, with the navigation lights on and the engine still running in Fort Lauderdale.
“We’re all out there, coordinating a search of the waterways, as well as the ocean, to try to locate if he’s possibly in the water,” Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Travis Mandell told local TV station WSVN. “We had officers scouring the beach on ATVs, searching if he may have come ashore there.”
Mandell added that “anything’s possible at this point,” and urges people to contact police if they see Aguiar.
Rabbi Moshe Meir Lipszyc of Chabad Lubavitch in Fort Lauderdale, where Aguiar attends synagogue, says the father of four’s wife and children are “completely devastated.””They are all very, very worried about him,” Lipszyc told the Sun Sentinel. “We are hoping and praying for a miracle. We are hoping if he fell off the boat, that he was able to swim to shore. He is massively special and with God’s help and all our prayers, we hope he will be OK.”
Lipszyc says Aguiar, who made his millions in the oil and gas business, is popular among the congregation’s members and known worldwide for his generosity and donations.
“From going to visit people in the hospital, sick people that nobody knew about, helping people that they never knew, supporting families, everything,” Lipszyc told WSVN.
TARA TODRAS-WHITEHILL/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Guma Aguiar holds the Defender of Jerusalem Award in Jerusalem along with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Aug. 10, 2009. Aguiar is known for his charity work and staunch support of Israel.
The businessman, who was born in Brazil and owns several homes worldwide, is also a main sponsor of an Israeli football team.Despite his generosity, Aguiar has a tumultuous history.
In January 2010, he was forcibly admitted to an Israeli psychiatric hospital, the Sun Sentinel reports. The following year, a judge appointed an emergency guardian for him, at the urging of his wife and mother. According to a 2009 lawsuit, Aguiar’s uncle once accused him of believing he was the messiah.
Aguiar has been arrested three times in south Florida since 2009. He is currently on probation after pleading no contest to domestic violence charges, according to the Sun Sentinel.
~ The engine was still running so we know he must be dead. If he owes you money, you can forget it now.