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Family: Swimmer Dead After Going Missing In 120-Mile Hudson River Race

June 15, 2019 - 1:15 pm

NEW YORK (AP) -- The family of a swimmer who went missing during a 120-mile race down the Hudson River says he is dead.

The family released a statement Saturday, identifying him as 67-year-old Charles Van Der Horst of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and saying they were "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. Charlie exemplified living life to its fullest," the statement continued. "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."

Van Der Horst was reported missing just after 3 p.m. Friday near the George Washington Bridge.

The NYPD says the search for him resumed Saturday morning after being suspended late Friday.

Van Der Horst was taking part in a multi-stage race down the Hudson called the 8 Bridges Race. Organizers canceled Saturday's seventh and final stage of the race.

New York Open Water, the organization running the event, said in a statement that safety protocols were in place and police were escorting the swimmers.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)