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American Student Disappears After Israel Swim

TeNiya Jones was caught in rip current
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2018 5:33 AM CDT
Updated Jul 30, 2018 7:21 AM CDT
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

(Newser) – An American student has been missing since Saturday night, when she went for a late-night swim in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv, Israel. Two fellow students who were with 19-year-old TeNiya Elnora Jones say they managed to make it back to shore after being caught in a rip current, NBC 2 reports. Israeli authorities have launched a search and rescue operation for Jones, a University of Kentucky student who had been studying in Amman, Jordan, as part of a summer study abroad program focusing on the Arabic language, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Jones, a sophomore, is from Fort Myers, Fla. A cousin tweeted recent photos of her on Sunday, urging anybody with information on her to get in touch. University officials are arranging for her mother and grandfather to travel to Israel. Jones, who was majoring in biology and also studying Islamic Studies, was due to enter the University of Kentucky's pre-med program next month. "I hope and pray for her that she’s somewhere fighting," Dunbar High School coach Guy Thomas, who coached her in track for years, tells the News-Press. "If she’s alive, she’s fighting. She’d fight until the end until she couldn’t fight anymore." (Read more Israel stories.)

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