San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Body of drowned U.S. teen found by local fishermen

A fishing boat on the south Pacific coast of Bahía Ballena found the body of Ravi Thackurdeen, 19, on Tuesday morning. Thackurdeen disappeared Sunday in a riptide at Playa Tortuga, in the southwestern canton of Osa.

Red Cross authorities said the teen died trying to save a friend who was drowning. The other swimmer was pulled out of the water, but rescue workers could not locate Thackurdeen.

Thackurdeen was a chemistry and pre-med student at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania in the U.S. A press release from the university said Thackurdeen’s family was alerted to the incident Sunday afternoon. According to the statement, Thackurdeen was studying abroad in Costa Rica with 17 other students as part of the Organization for Tropical Studies/Duke University’s Global Health program.

“Ravi was an amazing and focused student, a caring friend, a dedicated volunteer, and a wonderful brother and son,” said Swarthmore President Rebecca Chopp in a statement. “For someone so young, he had already given so much, and was poised to give much more. His loss is immeasurable.”

Margaret Riley, assistant vice provost for undergraduate global education at Duke, said in a statement Monday that the study abroad program in Costa Rica is providing “all assistance possible to the family,” and counseling for students. The course will end Tuesday.

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