A retired professor at the University of North Carolina is said to have died at a marathon bath in New York last Friday as a result of his disappearance, the New York Post reported.
Charles van der Horst 67, went underwater toward the end of the sixth stage of the eight-step swim, according to a Facebook post from the New York Open Water. The 120-mile race is the longest swimming race in the world, according to the organization. The organizers canceled the last day of swimming after van der Horst disappeared.
Van der Horst was last seen around 15:15. Friday on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge. "When he first went under, he had eyes," said Steve Strohmaier, Coast Guard Petty Officer, to NJ.com. "We used all of our assets, but we could not find him."
Between 6:45 and 7:30, the search had reportedly evolved from a rescue operation to a salvage operation and was canceled for the night. The search resumed on Saturday morning but was unsuccessful.
Van der Horst attended Harvard Medical School and in a statement to The News and Observer the UNC said he was an internationally known HIV / AIDS researcher.
"Dr. Charles van der Horst was a passionate and dedicated researcher, clinician and colleague during his many years at the UNC. He has been recognized in North Carolina and the world leader in HIV / AIDS research and treatment, "the statement says. "He was an incredible force for good, and was led by his example of dedication to science and service. Our UNC School of Medicine team is saddened by the news. Our thoughts are with his family. "