HEBRON, Conn. (WTNH) — Several fire departments and EMS personnel responded to what authorities are calling a boating incident involving students from Wesleyan University in a canoe at Amston Lake off Ames Road in Hebron Saturday afternoon.
According to the Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company, there were four patients and one of them was in cardiac arrest.
Onlookers described it as a frightening scene:
“It was just very scary,” said eleven year-old Garrett Steiner, who was there with his mom, Kristen. “I saw a lot of commotion.”
Captain Eric Lundin, with the Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police, says several 19-year-old Wesleyan students were on the private lake in at least one canoe.
Lundin said the students somehow ended up in the water before 4pm and one of them, an unidentified female, had to be airlifted to Hartford Hospital.
Lundin says the female was unresponsive when Lifestar arrived. At the filing of this report, he didn’t know how long she was in the water. But, he says, at this time of the year, hypothermia is a concern.
“Certainly it doesn’t take long this time of year have hypothermia set in, no matter what the temperature is,” Lundin explained.
Captain Lundin also told News8 that two other students were transported to the Middlesex Clinic in Marlborough.
The Colchester-Hayward Volunteer Fire Company posted on Facebook that one of the people pulled from the water was in cardiac arrest.
When News8 spoke with Captain Lundin late Saturday afternoon, he said investigators were still sorting out specific details about the incident that caused the group to end up in the water. “We’re dealing with conflicting reports,” Lundin said.
Authorities are also trying to figure out if more than one canoe was involved. News8 saw investigators hauling one canoe away from the lake.
Garrett’s mother says the lake is a popular hangout for teens and young people in the community. She feared she may know one of the victims.
“We were calling all of our friends and making sure that all of the kids in the neighborhood were safe that we know,” Kristen Steiner said.
Late Saturday night, DEEP told News8 they had high praise for the rescue crews: “They were out here very quick. They called several towns out here.”
On Sunday afternoon, Wesleyan University released a statement about the incident saying that they have been in touch with the families involved:
“We have been in touch with the families, are providing support for the students involved, and assisting authorities investigating the incident.
The health and safety of our students is paramount, and we are all hoping for the student’s recovery. We will provide updates when available.”– Wesleyan University
Monday, State Environmental Conservation Police released the names of the teens involved in the incident:
- Nabiha Syed, 19-year-old female, of Elmont, NY – currently admitted to Hartford Hospital
- Roshaan Siddiqui, an 18-year-old male, of Chicago, IL – currently admitted to Hartford Hospital
- Zainab Mubalsher, a 19-year-old female, of Aldie, VA – treated at Middlesex Marlborough Clinic and released on October 19
- Nadya Jaunbocus, a 19-year-old female, of Port Louis, Maritius – refused medical attention
The incident is currently under investigation by the CT State Environmental Conservation Police.
News 8 will bring you updates on this story as more information becomes available.