Crews recovered the body of a 19-year-old Northwestern University rower from the North Shore Channel in north suburban Lincolnwood Monday evening, officials confirmed.
Mohammed Ramzan was a first-year student at the university, officials said in a press release, and had been missing after he fell overboard Monday morning while practicing with the school's rowing team. Ramzan was from Auburbn, Washington.
Police and fire crews were at the scene around 7:40 a.m. in the 6600 block of McCormick Boulevard after Ramzan fell into the water and could not be found.
“We extend our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to Mohammed’s family and friends for this tragic loss,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin. “The loss affects us all, and we urge all members of our community to reach out and support one another.”
Alan Cubbage, the vice president for university relations at Northwestern, said the men's crew team was practicing on the North Shore Sanitary Canal when one member fell over near Pratt Avenue and disappeared.
Cubbage said Ramzan was not wearing a life jacket at the time "because of the nature of the sport."
"It restricts the movement too much," he said.
Dive crews and rescue crews from several north Chicago suburbs were at the scene searching for the missing crew member and the incident was being investigated by Illinois State Police, Cubbage said. According to Skokie fire officials, the search was suspended just after 2 p.m. due to lightning in the area.
He noted that there were multiple boats rowing in the area and a coach was in a motorized boat at the time of the incident. The coach and several other team members jumped into the water to try to find the missing team member, Cubbage said.
Northwestern has had club crew teams since the 1980s and has used the canal as a practice area for "many years," he added.