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Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2001

Body of one of three missing KSU students found

December 6, 2001

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— Authorities on Thursday found the body of one of three Kansas State University freshmen missing on Tuttle Creek Lake in northeast Kansas.

The body, found with a life jacket, was recovered about 10:30 a.m. in Carnahan Cove, about one-half mile from where authorities found the students' capsized boat earlier in the day, authorities said. The other two students were presumed alive, said Brian McNulty, operations manager of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

The yellow, 15 1/2-foot racing sailboat was found about 9 a.m. The boat's keel and rudder were found detached from the main portion of the boat in separate areas of the cove, officials said.

The 12,000-acre lake is located just north of Manhattan and about 100 miles west of Kansas City.

The missing students were identified by Kansas State as Timothy Bennett, 19, of Kansas City, Mo., and Kyle Chapman, 17, and Christopher Shipley, 18, both of Olathe, Kan.

The search includes 30 to 40 rescue workers, six boats and two helicopters. Officials began searching Wednesday afternoon, with the Kansas Highway Patrol searching the lake with an infrared-equipped helicopter.

"We're concentrating on searching for the others," said park ranger Brent Logan, who noted the effort remained a search and rescue operation. "It's a little rough out there."

The students had not been seen since they took the sailboat out Tuesday afternoon. Their empty boat trailer was found at the Blue Valley Yacht Club, and their shoes were found on the dock, said Steve French of the Riley County Police Department.

Chapman, a computer science major who owns the boat, is an experienced sailor, the school said in a statement. Bennett is majoring in environmental design, Shipley in animal sciences.

Boaters have been enticed to area lakes in recent days, with unseasonably mild temperatures and wind providing ideal conditions for sailing. Temperatures at the lake approached 70 degrees amid high winds on Tuesday. Thursday's search was conducted under sunny skies, with temperatures in the high 50s.

All three students were Eagle Scouts, police said. If the other two students reached shore, they would have a good chance of surviving, French said.

The rescuers hoped the students are "held up on an isolated cove," French said.

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