University of Illinois Student Vanishes While Swimming in Brazil

Richard Fu of Taiwan reportedly disappeared Saturday after swimming in the Atlantic Ocean

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014  |  Updated 2:22 PM CDT
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U of I Student Vanishes While Swimming in Brazil

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A University of Illinois student vanished over the weekend in Brazil.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler said 20-year-old Richard Fu of Taiwan disappeared while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

The firefighter overseeing the rescue operation said Fu appears to have ignored red flags indicating the waters at Arraial do Cabo, east of Rio de Janeiro, weren't suitable for swimming and entered the ocean with two American female friends.

One of the females is a fellow University of Illinois student and the other is a student at Purdue University, said firefighter Leonardo Cury.

He said lifeguards managed to pull the two companions from the water but didn't arrive in time to save Fu.

Fu was part of a study-abroad program. Kaler said his family has been flown to Brazil.

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