An Oglethorpe University student has been reported missing after he was caught in a riptide off the coast of Costa Rica, the college reported Jan. 5.

Erik L. Downes, a junior at Oglethorpe, and other students and faculty members were in Costa Rica for a study abroad trip, the school said. Downes and others were swimming on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast  when they were caught in the riptide, the school said. The others were uninjured, the school said.

Downes, a premed major, serves as vice president of the school’s Student Government Association. He also is a Resident Assistant and active in OU’s Center for Civic Engagement service projects.

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Oglethorpe community are with Erik and his family and many friends,” said Oglethorpe University President Lawrence M. Schall. “In a close-knit community of 1100 students, this is having an impact on everyone.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.