U.S. college student missing in Costa Rica

January 5, 2011

Erik Downes, a pre-med student at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia is missing and presumed dead after getting caught in a rip tide while swimming Tuesday near Domincal Beach in the Southern Zone, according to the Costa Rican Red Cross.

Red Cross spokesman Freddy Roman said that rescuers from Ciudad Cortés are searching for the Florida native, but there were no further details at press time.

Downes is a pre-med student and vice president of the student body at Oglethorpe University, a private, liberal arts college. He traveled to Costa Rica with a group of Oglethorpe students for an environmental study abroad trip.

Oglethrope University sent an e-mail to students updating them on the situation.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Oglethorpe community are with Erik and his family and many friends,” said President Larry Schall in the email. “In a close-knit community of 1,100 students, this is having an impact on everyone.”

Dean of Students Michelle Hall said the school would be providing counseling services for students as they returned from winter break Sunday. Other students swimming with Downes at the time of the incident were uninjured.

The school will hold a candlelight vigil for Downes at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Check www.ticotimes.net for updates on this situation.

You may be interested

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
213 views
Weather
213 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
1400 views
Weather
1400 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
4022 views
Weather
4022 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…