Victim of Fatal Skunk River Tubing Accident Identified

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STORY COUNTY, Iowa — Officials have released the name of a man who drowned in the swollen Skunk River Wednesday while tubing with friends.

Twenty-nine-year-old Philip Frystak was tubing with seven friends near Ames Wednesday around 2:30 p.m. when the group realized the current was moving too quickly. They decided to try and exit the river near Carr Park.

Officials say it appears Frystak hit a downed tree that was partly submerged in the murky water. He didn’t resurface and his friends called 911 from Carr Park.

Emergency responders searched the river for several hours and Frystak’s body was located at 6:45 p.m.

Frystak was originally from New Jersey, but was living in Ames and attending graduate school at Iowa State University.

Recent heavy rain has raised water levels on the Skunk River and made the current dangerously strong. Authorities are warning people to stay out of the river while unsafe conditions persist.