Hector Rolotti, cofounder of the popular Novecento restaurant chain, has gone missing in India.
In a heroic act that appears to have turned tragic, Rolotti was swept away by the strong currents of the Ganges River after jumping in to save a person who was struggling to stay afloat. Not much is known about the person Rolotti tried to rescue. The Miami Herald reports it was a man, and NBC 6 states a woman fell into the river.
According to the Herald, Rolotti was in India with his wife, Mora Barber, and friends on an annual yoga retreat about 20 miles from the city of Rishikesh when they noticed a member of their group crying for help in the river.
The 47-year-old Rolotti and five others jumped into the Ganges. The victim was saved, but Rolotti never made it to shore.
Novecento Brickell issued the following statement on its Facebook page:
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Novecento group reports on the news that are broadcasted in the media from around the world that its founder Hector ROLOTTI has been missing since Monday, March 17th.
On that day Hector was with his wife in Rajshahi city in the north of the river Ganges. On the coast of that raging river and next to a group of people a woman is absorbed by a whirlpool. Seven people in the group are thrown with the intention to help her and make it out with much effort; unfortunately Hector was the last person in the river and was carried away by the current.
Hector is a very healthy person with in fit condition and a great inner strength, so that the entire Novecento family still hopes to find him alive.
We appreciate the concern of all media, friends, employees and customers of our company and we appreciate the support to our company and the ROLOTTI family.
According to NBC 6, Rolotti's wife is headed back to Miami. The two have three children. Indian officials are still searching for the restaurateur and hero. It also seems the restaurant's website has been hacked by an offshore pharmaceutical company.