Published: Jan 06, 2011 10:46 PM EST
Updated: Jan 06, 2011 8:46 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, FL - A Cape Coral man is missing off the coast of Costa Rica after being swept away by a rip current.
Erik Downes is a student at Oglethorpe University in Georgia.

 He and several other students and University staff members were on an ecological study in the Central American country when the accident occurred.

The Costa Rican coast guard has been searching for Downes since Tuesday when he disappeared.

Family members and friends are holding out hope that Erik will be found alive.