- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - An American Peace Corps volunteer from Massachusetts has died in a swimming accident in Namibia, the Peace Corps said Monday.

John Petersen’s body was found on Sunday morning between rocks on the Kunene River, where he had been swimming on Dec. 31, according to Namibian media reports.

Namibian police commander, James Nderura, told the Namibian Press Association that the body had been in the river for five days.

“We are devastated by his loss,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said in a statement, describing the former boy scout as a passionate volunteer who wanted to make a difference.

Petersen, 24, was working at a community skills development center in the city of Swakopmund, west of the capital Windhoek, according to Hessler-Radelet.

The Westborough, Massachusetts, native worked with locals on building small businesses, according to the Peace Corps statement.

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