Princeton NJ -- Sophomore Alan Ebersole of Vicksburg, Miss., a member of the University's men's swimming and diving team, died in an accident while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. He was 20 years old.
Broward County Sheriff's officials said preliminary reports indicate that this was an accidental death by drowning. No foul play, alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident, officials said.
Ebersole was training with the men's and women's swimming and diving teams in Deerfield Beach, Fla., during the fall semester recess. He and two teammates left their hotel room around 10:30 p.m. Oct. 29 for a late night swim in the ocean, sheriff's officials said. The other students, who emerged from the water approximately a half-hour later, were unable to locate Ebersole. Public safety officials in Broward County located his body around 1 a.m. Oct. 30 three-quarters of a mile away from where the group was swimming, officials said.
Ebersole, who lived in Butler College, competed in the 200- and 100-meter breaststroke. He was studying Spanish and politics, among other academic pursuits. In Vicksburg, Ebersole graduated in 2003 from St. Aloysius High School and was salutatorian of his class. He was a member of the high school's swim team coached by his father, Bruce.
President Tilghman, who was traveling in Asia, was notified and expressed her sincere condolences to Ebersole's family, friends and teammates. Provost Christopher Eisgruber spoke with Ebersole's parents and notified the campus community of the loss.
Survivors include his parents, Bruce and Story Ebersole, and younger brothers, John and James, all of Vicksburg. Gatherings on campus in Ebersole's honor took place in Butler College on Saturday and in Chancellor Green on Sunday; a University memorial service will be held at a later date. The funeral Mass took place Nov. 3 in Vicksburg.
In lieu of flowers, the Ebersole family requests that donations be made in Alan's name to the United Way of Central Mississippi, Teen Help, 920 South St., Vicksburg, MS 39180; Vicksburg Catholic Schools, 1900 Grove St., Vicksburg, MS 39183; or Vicksburg Swim Association, c/o Craig Fischemich, 1100 Newitt-Vick Drive, Vicksburg, MS 39183.