ISU students involved in boating accident

UPDATE 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 30

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa State University Police Department have identified the two students who died in a boating accident Sunday morning at Little Wall Lake:

  • Yaakov Ben-David, 20 years old, a sophomore accounting major from Washington, D.C.
  • Derek Nanni, 19 years old, a freshman chemistry major from Normal, Illinois

The names of the other Crew Club members are not being released to protect their privacy. More information will be released when the investigation and the university’s internal review is complete.

UPDATE 2 p.m. Monday, March 29

The Iowa State University Police Department continues to work with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and other state agencies investigating the boating accident at Little Wall Lake. The university will also conduct an internal review of policies and procedures related to this incident. Additional detail and comment surrounding what happened will not be available until these reviews are complete. Please understand this could take several days or weeks.

The Division of Student Affairs is working closely with the students, their families and members of the Crew Club to provide support and assistance, including counseling services and academic resources. Anyone needing support is encouraged to contact:

  • Student Counseling Services, 515-294-5056
  • Student Assistance, 515-294-1020
  • Crisis Text Line, text “ISU” to 741741 (available 24/7)

Law enforcement agencies are still working to notify family of the students involved in the accident. Names will be released once that process is complete.

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Toyia Younger released the following statement:

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the two students we lost on Sunday. During this time of grief, I ask the entire Iowa State community to show compassion and support for one another. We know there are a lot of questions and we are working to provide answers, but this will take time. The Student Affairs team is providing ongoing outreach to comfort and support those students involved in the accident, other members of the Iowa State Crew Club, their families and friends. We ask that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.”  

UPDATE 10:45 a.m. Monday, March 29

Rescue crews have recovered the body of the missing student at Little Wall Lake. More information will be provided as available. 

UPDATE 8 p.m. Sunday, March 28

Rescue crews have called off recovery efforts for the night. They will return Monday morning to continue the search.


AMES, Iowa – Members of the Iowa State Crew Club were practicing Sunday morning at Little Wall Lake in Hamilton County when their boat capsized. Three of the five students were rescued from the water and treated and released from Mary Greeley Medical Center. A dive team recovered the body of one student and the search continues for the other missing student.

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, Stratford Fire and Rescue, Mary Greeley Medical Center and community members for their response and continued search efforts.”

The Iowa State Crew Club is a recognized student organization. The university is working with investigators and will provide more information as it is available. The names of the students involved are not being released at this time.