Junior missing in South Africa

Updated: Aug. 31, 2015 at 4:49 p.m.

We will continue to update this story.

A junior studying abroad in South Africa has been declared missing, according to a University statement.

Nicholas Upton was last seen swimming in the East Cape Province on Sunday, Aug. 30 at about 10:30 p.m. local time. He “went missing in the surf,” according to a release from the National Sea Rescue Institute in Transkei, South Africa. Five other University of Cape Town students had also gone swimming with him, and attempted to find him along with staff from a nearby lodge.

At about 4 a.m., the National Sea Rescue Institute were alerted, according to the NSRI release. Until about 10 a.m. local time, “unfavorable weather conditions” hampered the search. Cape Town authorities are conducting a search and are working with program representatives, Upton’s family and the U.S. Embassy, according to the GW release.

Marron Roberts, an official at the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Cape Town, said the search for Upton was ongoing. He said local police, volunteers and K-9 units were involved in the search.

“We are using all efforts possible to try and find him,” Roberts said Monday.

Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski said in the statement that GW is “closely monitoring this situation.” Officials are in touch with Upton’s family, he added.

“We continue to hope and pray for Nicholas’ safe return,” Konwerski said.

Upton is a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and the men’s rowing team, according to a statement on the Kappa Alpha Facebook page.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said Monday that Upton is one of four GW students participating in the Cape Town program.

Jacqueline Thomsen and Jeanine Marie contributed reporting.

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