WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, N.Y. (WNCN) – Search efforts are underway for a retired UNC School of Medicine professor who went missing on Friday in the Hudson River during a week-long marathon swim.
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.
The swim strings together the Rip Van Winkle, Kingston-Rhinecliff, Mid-Hudson, Newburgh-Beacon, Bear Mountain, Tappan Zee, George Washington and Verrazano Narrows Bridges.
For one week, each day’s marathon swim begins with the ebb tide at one bridge and ends at the next, covering distances ranging from 13.2 miles to 19.8 miles.
New York Open Water marathon organizers say Dr. van der Horst went missing on Stage 6 on the 8 Bridges Open Water Swim.
The UNC School of Medicine released the following statement:
“The UNC School of Medicine is shocked and saddened at the news Dr. Charles van der Horst (retired from UNC) has been reported missing following a multi-day swimming race in New York’s Hudson River. Our thoughts are with Dr. van der Horst’s family at this time.”
In a statement from organizers, they say the New York Police Department is continuing a search and the Stage 7 swim scheduled for Saturday has been canceled. Also, organizers say all swimmer safety protocols were in place and that the NYPD was escorting the field.