Editor’s Note: This story has a sad echo to an item we posted in January about an Albany, NY, lawyer, Richard Friedman, who drowned while saving his sons from a swimming accident off the coast of Puerto Rico. Read Friedman’s story here.

Robert N. Klein, a successful real estate attorney in Port S. Lucie, Florida, drowned Monday while seeking to bring his sons in from a severe rip tide off the Florida coast. He was 49.

According to a report in the Port St. Lucie newspaper:

Klein, at the beach with his family, swam out to help rescue his two sons, Peyton, 11, and Ethan, 14, who were struggling in the rip currents while riding their Boogie boards. The boys were fine, but rescue workers brought Klein to shore and tried to revive him. Klein was pronounced dead at Martin Memorial Medical Center.

Klein, who represented national retailer QVC, was reported to have been instrumental in bringing the company to Port St. Lucie.

The newspaper said Klein was a founding member of Temple Beit HaYam in Stuart in 1993 and was on the board of directors there for about eight years.

“He was devoted to his wife and children first and foremost,” said Klein’s rabbi, Jonathan Kendall, who rushed to Klein’s side at the hospital Monday. “This type of tragedy leaves scars for a lifetime. We certainly mourn the years that were denied him. He was… his children’s hero. They really looked up to him.”

Kendall said Klein worked overtime to be a positive role model and an example of the kind of character that sets you apart in today’s society.

“These children would not be here if not for his efforts to save them,” he said.


Bobby Klein’s funeral will be held at noon Thursday at the Temple Beit HaYam, 951 S.E. Monterey Common Blvd., Stuart. Internment will follow at Forest Hills Memorial Park, 2001 S.W. Murphy Road, Palm City.