NY swimming marathon group confirms death of retired UNC professor

Local News

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, N.Y. (WNCN) — Orangizers of a marathon swimming event said that they have confirmed the loss of a retired UNC professor during the event.

Dr. Charles van der Horst was participating in the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, which organizers say is the longest marathon swim in the world, spanning 120 miles.

New York Open Water marathon organizers say Dr. van der Horst went missing Friday on Stage 6 on the 8 Bridges Open Water Swim.

Dr. van der Horst, who lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was a retired UNC School of Medicine professor.

At one point, search efforts were underway involving the New York City Police Department.

The Stage 7 swim scheduled for Saturday was canceled.

New York Open Water released a statement from Dr. van der Horst’s family:

Charlie exemplified living life to its fullest. He put all of his passion and zest into everything he did, from his love of his family, friends and community, to his swimming to his work on social justice and in the medical field. At this time we ask that you respect our wishes for privacy as we mourn this tragic loss.

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