At three pm both instructors and one of the stronger students doff their packs, form a tripod, and are able to cross the stream and return with minimal effort. They report that the rocks in the original bed are slippery and the current stronger than it looks but that the crossing looks doable. Four of the women students and one male express some concern but agree to try it. As much gear as possible is stuffed into each person's pack liner-a heavy plastic bag-and tied with a goose-neck to keep the water out. The instructors and the original student again cross the river. Once across they throw the rope back and, one at a time, each pack is clipped to end of the rope and pulled across. A few of the packs narrowly miss being dragged into a downstream debris pile during as they are pulled across. The students divide themselves into groups of three and cross. The first two groups have a bit of trouble in the center but make it safely across. The last group is composed of two women and one male student. One of the women, Anna-the smallest (4'8") in the group-is unable to keep her balance in the center current and is knocked off her feet. Her partners also start to lose their balance and let go. Anna is unable to regain her footing and is swept into the debris pile that almost caught their packs. As this is happening the remaining two students attempt to scramble quickly across the center channel and are swept downstream for about 30 feet before regaining their footing and wading to shore. Anna's legs and lower body are caught under the debris pile and she is having difficulty keeping her head above water.
When the group breaks apart during the crossing the male assistant instructor quickly wades back into the water in an attempt to reach the group. As the students are flushed by him by the current he swims after them. Seeing the two students regain their footing he continues to the debris pile and Anna.
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