Retired UNC professor presumed dead after disappearing during 120-mile NY swim


Rescuers swept the Hudson River again on Sunday for a N.C. Moral Monday activist from Chapel Hill who disappeared Friday during a 120-mile marathon race.

The New York Post reported Charles van der Horst, 67, vanished on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge around 3:10 p.m. Friday. The search is now a recovery, said the U.S. Coast Guard, which is working with New York City police.

Van der Horst was in the second-to-last stage of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, which organizer New York Open Water called “the longest marathon swim in the world.” Friday’s leg spanned 15.7 miles, from the Tappan Zee Bridge to the George Washington Bridge.

Van der Horst was finishing Friday’s race when he went under, the group posted on Facebook. That part of the river “is a fan favorite thanks to the fast currents and beautiful views of the Palisades,” the Friday morning post said.

NYOW shared a statement from van der Horst’s family Saturday afternoon.

“The family of Charles Van der Horst of Chapel Hill, NC, is deeply saddened to confirm the loss of our beloved Charlie. He was participating in several stages of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim when he went under at the finish of Stage 6,” the statement said.

Read The News & Observer

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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