According to the University of Kentucky, a student studying abroad this summer in the Middle East has gone missing.
TeNiya Nora Jones, a 19-year-old sophomore from Ft. Myers, Fla., was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea Saturday evening in Tel Aviv, Israel with two other students. According to WKYT, the students got caught up in a strong current and were pulled out. Two of the students were able to make it back to shore, Jones did not.
According to a press release from the university, the students called Israeli officials, who initiated a major search and rescue effort, reports WKYT.
WKYT reports that a body has been found in the Mediterranean sea near where Jones went missing. The body has not been identified.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with TeNiya, her family and the students and others impacted,” UK President Eli Capilouto told WKYT. “We are in continual contact with Teniya’s family, officials in Israel, officials from the State Department and our Congressional delegation, to provide all the support we can for the family, students and others involved. We will do everything possible to provide whatever support is needed.”
According WKYT, Jones was a part of a Arabic language program with eight other students, seven from UK, and two from West Virginia University. The program was based in Amman, Jordan. Jones and two other UK students and one from West Virginia University traveled to Tel Aviv for the weekend. Shortly after midnight in Israel, the three UK students went swimming. One stayed behind in a Tel Aviv hotel.
Late Saturday evening, Jones’ family was alerted. UK Education Abroad officials are making arrangements for Jones’ mother and grandfather to travel to Tel Aviv. Associate Provost Sue Roberts, who leads UK’s International Center, home to Education Abroad and Exchanges, is also traveling to Israel to meet with the family and officials.
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