On early Wednesday, an unidentified man died after a jump in Mirror Lake’s frigid water an during annual event hosted by the Ohio State University, a university spokesperson said.
University staffers do not yet know who the man is or whether he was a student. So, they ask anyone with any info to contact campus police at 614-292-2121.
During the traditional event, thousands of students jump into the lake on Tuesday night regardless of the cold temperatures. In more than two decades, no similar incidents were reported.
The young man was pulled out of the water around 12:20 a.m. Paramedics did their best but CPR attempts failed both on-site and at the Wexner Medical Center where he was taken immediately. The man was declared dead hours later. The most probable cause of death was cardiac arrest.
Around 4:30, OSU’s Director of Public Safety Vernon Baisden reported that the man’s condition was critical. Six hours later, officials announced the man was dead. At that time, the university was still unable to tell who he was.
University officials didn’t say that the victim was a student. According to a description posted on the university’s Twitter account he was an African-American of medium height. He had tattoos on the upper left part of his chest and on his right arm. Anyone who may know him is requested to contact OSU police.
The university declined to say whether the traditional event would be banned from now on. A spokesperson for the OSU said that it was too early to take such decision.
“It’s just unknown at this point,”
the OSU official added.
Currently the university urges students via Twitter to not jump into the lake’s cold waters. The institution’s Emergency Management and Fire Prevention team explained that the lake was not intended for swimming. A footage taken while paramedics were struggling to save the man’s life shows students carelessly splashing and jumping into the lake.
Fire crews from Columbus Fire Department were also present at the scene.
The Mirror Lake annual jump is a tradition first initiated in 1990. Students jump into the lake ahead of Ohio State-Michigan Wolverines matchup to raise the spirits of their favorite football team. Since 2013, students were requested to wear “Beat Michigan” wristbands if they wished to take part in the event.
OSU’s Emergency Management and Fire Prevention recently announced that they would share new info as soon as it becomes available.
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