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Redding Native Presumed Drowned In South Africa As Bad Weather Ends Search

Nicholas Upton, 19, a junior from Redding in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He has gone missing while studying abroad.
Nicholas Upton, 19, a junior from Redding in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He has gone missing while studying abroad. Photo Credit: George Washington University

REDDING, Conn. — The South African National Sea Rescue Institute says a 19-year-old from Redding who went missing while swimming in South Africa is believed to have drowned , NBC Connecticut reported Monday evening.

Nicholas Upton, a junior in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, was reported missing in South Africa, where he has been studying abroad.

Upton was pulled away by a riptide while swimming in the Eastern Cape Province on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 10:30 p.m. and has not been seen since.

"Our study abroad program partner in Cape Town, South Africa, has notified GW that one of our students traveling during a break in the program is missing," Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski said in a statement Monday.

"Local authorities in Cape Town are conducting a search and are coordinating with program representatives, his family and the U.S. Embassy," Konwerski said. "We are closely monitoring this situation and are in touch with his family. We continue to hope and pray for Nicholas’ safe return."

Upton is a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and the GW men's rowing team, the GW Hatchet reported.

According to a Facebook post from his fraternity, he was last at Bulungula Lodge in the southeastern part of the country.

He has been studying abroad since July at the University of Cape Town, according to NBC Connecticut. His major is international affairs with a concentration in African studies.

His parents, Jim Upton and Margaret Mirowski, said they want the search continued for their son, NBC said. It has been called off due to weather conditions but was due to resume Tuesday, the report said.

Read the full story and watch the interview with the missing man's parents here at the NBC Connecticut website .

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