A 19-year-old Northwestern rower died Monday after drowning during practice.
Mohammed Ramzan, a first year student from Auburn, Wash., was found in the North Shore Channel in a suburb of Chicago after falling overboard at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Chicago’s ABC7 reports.
The crew team was practicing Monday morning when Ramzan fell into the water. Northwestern’s coach along with seven rowers and a coxswain, the person who calls the rows, went into the water after their teammate.
When Ramzan fell overboard he wasn’t wearing a life jacket. Because a life jacket or floatation device would restrict movement, the team doesn’t wear them, ABC7 reports.
The search was delayed for a few hours Monday due to lightning from severe weather. Search crews had to wait for the storm to pass while also battling a strong current.
Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin released a statement following the drowning asking people to look out each other following the tragedy, according to ESPN.
“We extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to Mohammed’s family and friends for this tragic loss,” Patricia Telles-Irvin said. “The loss affects us all, and we urge all members of our community to reach out and support one another.”
Northwestern’s crew team shared an Instagram post honoring their teammate and sending condolences to Ramzan’s family.
“Mohammed will be remembered as one of Northwestern Crew’s most perseverant athletes and friendliest faces. We will miss him dearly,” the post read.
Crew is a club sport at Northwestern and this is the first serious incident to happen to the program since it started being offered in the 1980s.
There are over 40 members on the team, making it the largest club sport at the university.