Men’s crew team member Mohammed Ramzan’s death ruled an accident, medical examiner says


Allie Goulding/The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern student Mohammed Ramzan. The first-year student drowned Monday after falling into the water during a men’s crew team practice on the North Shore Channel in Lincolnwood.

Allyson Chiu, Campus Editor

First-year student Mohammed Ramzan’s death was ruled an accidental drowning, according to a Cook County Medical Examiner’s report released Tuesday.

Ramzan, 19, went missing Monday morning after falling off a nine-person shell during a Northwestern men’s crew team practice on the North Shore Channel. Authorities recovered Ramzan’s body Monday evening from the channel in Lincolnwood, said vice president for student affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin in an email to NU students.

Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Jason Bradley said Ramzan was not wearing a life vest at the time of the accident, which is not uncommon in crew. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, federal law “does not require lifejackets on racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes, and racing kayaks.”

Other details of the accident, Bradley said, are still under investigation, including whether Ramzan was unconscious when he entered the water.

A first-year student from Auburn, Washington, Ramzan was involved with the Freshman Urban Program and the Northwestern Quest Scholars Network in addition to being on the crew team.

Community response to Ramzan’s death was immediate. A GoFundMe page was created Monday to ease funeral costs for Ramzan’s family, and it gathered more than $7,800 from nearly 300 people by Tuesday afternoon.

Mariana Alfaro contributed reporting. 

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