05/27/2012 09:28 EDT | Updated 07/27/2012 05:12 EDT

Chinese student drowns in Niagara River

A college student from China is presumed to have drowned in an area of the Niagara River known as the Whirlpool.

The young man, 22, had been enjoying a barbeque with friends at the bottom of the gorge Saturday evening when he entered the water to cool down, Niagara Regional Police said.

"After a short period of time it was apparent the male was in physical distress and couldn’t reach shore," police said in a news release on Sunday.

A number of people in the area made several attempts to get him out of the water, but failed because of the strong currents, police said. A search by boat and helicopter failed to locate the man.

The victim was an international student who had been attending Niagara College, police said, adding they have made contact with members of the victim’s family in China, who have requested that his name not be released at this time.

The police investigation continues.