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Sheriff's office identifies 2 ISU students who died in boating accident at Hamilton County lake

Three students returned safely ashore. The bodies of two others were found in the lake.

HAMILTON COUNTY, Iowa — The search for a missing Iowa State University student ended mid-morning on Monday at Little Wall Lake in Hamilton County.

Investigators located the remaining crew team member's body on a side of the lake using sonar technology. 

It was the second team member's body found in the lake after the Iowa State Crew Club's boat capsized Sunday morning.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office released the identities of the two students on Tuesday:

  • 20-year-old Yaakov Ben-David of Washington D.C.; sophomore accounting major
  • 19-year-old Derek Nanni of Normal, Ill; freshman chemistry major

"We didn’t just lose 2 rowers on Sunday; we lost 2 brothers," Crew Club at Iowa State University wrote on Facebook. "Yaakov and Derek were family."

Investigators are working to determine what happened to make the boat capsize.

In a release, the University said that the club was practicing Sunday morning, when a boat five students were on capsized. Three of the five students were rescued and were treated and released from the hospital.

Names of the crew members have not been released yet.

Iowa State has set up a donation fund at this link.

President Wendy Wintersteen released the following statement:

“The Iowa State community is heartbroken to learn of this tragic accident at Little Wall Lake. At this time, we are focused on providing support to club members, their families and friends. We ask that everyone keep them in their thoughts during this very difficult time.

“On behalf of the university community, I want to thank the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, Story County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University Police Department, Jewel Fire and Rescue, Gilbert Fire, Mary Greeley Medical Center and community members for their response and continued search efforts.”

Little Wall Lake is two miles south of Jewell, along Highway 69.

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