Retired UNC professor who went missing during marathon swim in New York is dead, race organizers confirm


Dr. Charles van der Horst (WTVD)

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NEW YORK — A retired UNC professor who went missing Friday in the Hudson River during a marathon swim is dead, race organizers confirmed.

Dr. Charles van der Horst, 67, of Chapel Hill, was participating in several stages of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, organized by New York Open Water.

A man who was watching the race from a river bank saw van der Horst disappear and called 911, Fox News reports.

Authorities searched for van der Horst Friday and Saturday, but New York Open Water confirmed Saturday afternoon that van der Horst was dead.

“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,” New York Open Water wrote on Facebook.

van der Horst was a retired professor of medicine and infectious diseases.

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