A 43-year-old man was killed Wednesday after colliding with a University of Wisconsin lifesaving boat while windsurfing on Lake Mendota.

The UW lifesaving boat, which provides lake safety and rescue operations for UW and the City of Madison, was returning from a rescue launch around 5:45 p.m. when it collided with the windsurfer, according to a UW statement.

The man, later identified as Madison resident Yu Chen, was pronounced dead on scene, according to a statement made by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.

The preliminary results of Chen’s autopsy confirm his death was the result of injuries sustained in the collision with the boat. Additional testing is currently underway as well.

In an email sent to The Badger Herald, UW spokesperson John Lucas said Chen had been a windsurfer since 2009 and a volunteer instructor with Hoofers Sailing Club since 2012.

Photo Courtesy of University Communications

Outdoor UW and Hoofers closed Thursday, but is expected to reopen Friday, according to the UW statement.

“We are deeply saddened by this loss of life,” the statement said. “UW-Madison strives for safety on Lake Mendota at all times, through all units that operate on the water.”

DCSO’s dive team patrolled the water Thursday in an attempt to recover any additional evidence from the crash.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has a video of it is encouraged to contact the DCSO tip line at (608) 284-6900.


Update 7:21 p.m.This article has been updated to include the name of the deceased and details from the DCSO’s autopsy report.

Update 7:44 p.m.This article has been updated to include statements from UW spokesperson John Lucas.