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Recovery Crews Search Canal For Missing Northwestern Rower

By Stephen Gossett in News on Apr 10, 2017 9:55PM

North Shore Channel / Flickr / kgander
Recovery crews on Monday searched waters for a missing member of Northwestern University men's crew team after he fell into a canal in suburban Lincolnwood.

The rower fell into the North Shore Channel on Monday morning at about 7:40 a.m., Lincolnwood Fire officials said. A coach who was with the crew in the canal, but in a separate boat, and another team member left their boats to try to rescue the rower after he fell in but were unable to find him, according to a university announcement. The boat was rowing with nine students when the fall happened, according to the alert.

The search began as a rescue mission, looking near where the incident occurred, around Pratt Avenue and McCormick Boulevard. But Skokie Chief Jim Waters told reporters at a 2 p.m. press conference that crews were now conducting the search as a recovery operation.

Alan Cubbage, Vice President for University Relations, told ABC7:
"There were a couple of boats in the vicinity. There was also a coach in a motorized boat in the area as well. There was only one member of the team who fell over. Apparently the coach and a member of the team went in to try and get him. I don't have any information other than that."

Thunderstorms briefly paused search efforts on Monday for a couple of hours, but a persistent lack of clarity as to where exactly the student fell is also complicating matters.

"Lack of information has been our biggest problem, Walters said, via the Tribune. "We never got a solid definition of where they went into the water, so working kind of blind that way. We're doing the best we can, and that just makes the area a lot bigger that we have to cover."