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Friday, February 23, 2024

UW-Madison student dies in apparent drowning

UPDATE: The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office released the name of the student in a statement as John "Vietnam" Nguyen.  Nguyen was 19 years-old from Chicago IL.  The statement also confirms Nguyen's cause of death as an "accidental drowning." 

A University of Wisconsin-Madison student was pronounced dead at University of Wisconsin Hospital early Thursday morning after rescue divers pulled him out of Lake Mendota by the Limnology Building and Memorial Union.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department, Madison Police Department and Madison Fire Deptartment responded to a swimmer in distress at 6:49 a.m. near the Limnology building, according to UW-Madison Police Department Spokesperson Aaron Chapin.

The Capital Times reported that the student was swimming with friends when he did not return to the surface.

MFD spokesperson Eric Dahl said in addition to a land search crew, a lake rescue boat searched the area around a pier where the swimmer was last seen in the water.

Divers found the swimmer’s body after 15 minutes of searching, Dahl said.

After authorities retrieved the swimmer from the lake, they transported him to UW Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to Chapin.

“We’re deeply saddened by this tragic loss, which comes just before the beginning of a new semester,” Dean of Students Lori Berquam said in a statement. “We will be reaching out to those in the university community who knew this student to offer all of our help, support and condolences.”

Dahl said several people drown in the lake each year in the summer and early fall and need to take the proper safety precautions when swimming.

Earlier this summer, UW-Madison class of 2012 graduate Matthew Roelse drowned in Lake Mendota near the 600 block of North Lake Street.

“We ask people to be careful when they’re either in the water or nearby,” Dahl said. “Know [your] limits.”

The university advises students in need of counseling or crisis support to call or drop into University Health Services Counseling and Consultation Services.

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