Charles Van der Horst missing during 8 Bridges Swim, a 120-mile marathon race in the Hudson River during Friday’s leg of a week-long race has not yet been found.
Charles Van Der Horst, 67, of Chapel Hill vanished on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge around 3:10 p.m. Friday.
He was in the second-to-last stage of the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim, which police said is called “the longest marathon swim in the world.”
Charles Van der Horst missing:
Announcing Charles Van der Horst missing, the race organizer, New York Open Water, canceled the swim’s last and final leg Saturday.
In a statement posted on the website, the organizers said:
“It is with great sadness that we report the loss of a swimmer today on Stage 6 of the 8 Bridges Open Water Swim.
Our thoughts are first and foremost with the swimmer’s family.”
All swimmer safety protocols were in place and that the NYPD was escorting the field.”
Van Der Horst is an internationally known AIDS researcher. Van Der Horst is a former UNC professor of medicine emeritus who now works as a clinical trials, training and global health consultant.
Read touching tributes from his loved ones below:
- From Sebastian Moll
My fellow swimmer Charles Van Der Horst embarked on a great swimming adventure this week but never returned from the waters of the Hudson River.
I met Charlie at various swimming events and we swam together on a few occasions. He was as passionare an activist and phlianthropist as he waa a swimmer.
I am deeply saddened by these terrible news.
- From Marathon Swimmers Federation
In memoriam: Charles Van Der Horst.
“My biggest pride is not my athletics … Swimming has a Zen quality for me. It helps me cope with bad juju and stress, and it feeds my competitive spirit by trying to keep up with the younger dudes and dudettes. But I’m really most proud of having had a role in training the next generation of infectious disease doctors, the smart and energetic men and women who will continue to tackle the world’s health problems.”
“If you’re willing to take on the tasks that no one else wants to do, and just jump into it, you can surprise yourself.”
Article by David McGlynn
- From UNC Health Care:
The @UNC_SOM is shocked and saddened at the news Dr. Charles vanderHorst (retired from UNC) has been reported as 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.