Rescuers have called off the search for a 19-year-old Connecticut native believed to have drowned while studying abroad in South Africa, according to his mother.
Nicholas Upton, 19, a junior at George Washington University and a graduate of Joel Barlow High School in Redding, was last seen Sunday when he disappeared into the surf while swimming in the East Cape Province around 10:30 p.m. local time, or 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, according to a statement from the university.
Rescue crews sent out divers and helicopters in an effort to find him but called off the search Tuesday, according to Upton's mother, Margaret Mirowski.
Mirowski said she and her husband will fly to South Africa tomorrow and launch a search of her own. A GoFundMe page has been set up to fund their trip.
Upton has been studying abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and was traveling with five other people during a break from classes when he was lost at sea, according to the National Sea Rescue Institute.
Rescuers have lost hope of finding him alive.
"The teenager is missing and he is now presumed to have drowned," the NSRI said in a news release Monday.
Upton interned with the office of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who released a statement Monday on the young man's disappearance.
"We are working with the family trying to determine more of the facts in a very difficult situation," Blumenthal said. "Our hearts and prayers are with them for Nick, who is a remarkable young man."