Three students were rescued, transferred to the hospital in Ames and released. A dive team recovered one body from the water later on Sunday. The search for a fifth team member was suspended at 8 p.m. Sunday and will resume Monday morning.
Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Timmons credits nearby residents for being heroes in the initial response.
“There were some people who took some risks that they didn’t have to take and saved some lives,” he said during a news conference posted online by KCCI. “…There were people who got in the water and went out there and helped.”
According to the Iowa State Crew Club’s website, the team regularly practices at Little Wall Lake, which is two miles south of Jewell. The Hamilton County sheriff said several state and county agencies responded after a 911 call came in from the scene at about 9:30 Sunday morning.
“At the time that the call came in, there were pretty good northwest winds,” Timmons said, “we’re guessing anywhere from 20-25 mile and hour winds and the lake was pretty rough.”
Little Wall Lake covers 249 acres and is about a 20 minute drive from the ISU campus. In a written statement, Iowa State president Wendy Wintersteen said the campus community “is heartbroken” to learn of this tragic accident and the university “is focused on providing support to club members, their families and friends.”