Update: Windsurfer in Lake Mendota collision identified

June 2, 2017 By Meredith McGlone

Updated, June 2: At about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, a collision occurred on Lake Mendota between the UW Lifesaving boat and a windsurfer, who suffered fatal injuries.

Yu Chen

Yu Chen– Photo courtesy of Hoofers Photo courtesy of Hoofers

Yu Chen, 43, of Madison, was a Hoofers volunteer instructor and experienced windsurfer. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate.

“Yu gave generously of his time and knowledge of windsurfing for more than five years as a volunteer instructor,” said Mills Botham, Commodore, Hoofers Sailing Club.

“He loved the sport and all of us at Hoofers are feeling his loss deeply. We are working to support his friends and family during this difficult time.”

According to the Dane County Sheriff, Chen was struck and killed by the rescue launch that was returning from responding to an unrelated rescue call.

Chen’s windsurfing craft had been checked out from the Hoofer Sailing Club at Memorial Union where he was well known.

The Livesaving Station provides a lake safety and rescue operation that serves boaters and swimmers of the UW campus and greater Madison community. The rescue service keeps close ties with the Hoofer Sailing Club and Outdoor UW, both located at the Memorial Union.

If you are a UW–Madison student in need of counseling or crisis support as a result of this incident or any other situation, call University Health Services at 608-265-5600, or drop in between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you need immediate assistance after hours or on weekends, please call the UHS Crisis Line at 608-265-5600, option 9, or visit the UHS counseling website.

If you are a faculty/staff member and would like to talk to someone about your reactions, call the Employee Assistance Office at 608-263-2987 or visit its website.