The baggage flew everywhere and raced quickly towards the rapids, along with those who where thrown out of the raft. Everyone in my raft, including myself, immediately switched to rescue mode; we had to get everyone out of the water before they were swept into more rocks and rapids. This is the story of my scouting high-adventure two years ago. The trip was going to consist of two days of rock climbing, and three days of rafting down the Deschutes River. We were all excited and very talkative; despite our early morning start at six in the morning. We camped a few miles away from Smith rock, and the river next to our campsite was our swimming pool for the first two days. After the two days of rock-climbing, we traveled a little ways to the head of the Deschutes River for a three day rafting trip. My raft quickly became known as the “Pirate” raft because of the many attacks on the other rafts in our groups we were notorious for. In my raft, we had those who had gone down the river before, and had therefore played this game before. The game was going up to the other rafts, jumping onto those other rafts, and throwing people out of them as quick as possible; while stealing their extra oar.
After lunch one day, the game was supposed to be discontinued because of the rapids ahead; my older brother’s raft didn’t get the message. My raft was the first to push off, but we quickly discovered some of our oars were missing. We heard some cheers from my brother’s raft and realized they had taken our oars during the break. What happened next however was anything but funny at the time. From what I saw, Brad, my brother, was still putting away a bag of carrots and wasn’t paying attention to what was going on. There was a huge rock in the middle of the river which was supposed to be gone around on the left, but only one person in the raft saw that. The others quickly tried to avoid it by going to the right, but with members of the raft going different directions; it went right into the rock. My raft watched in fear as everyone, and everything, was thrown into the river. There were rapids only a short distance down the river, so we quickly went to pick up some of the baggage, and all those who were thrown clear. Brad quickly swam to the side of the river and got safely onto land, but one of the other boys, and a leader were still in the water. We went into rescue mode as I saw the fear in the eyes of the boy in the water. We knew there were rapids coming up, and we knew we had to get him in our raft quickly. As we got him in, we saw, and heard, our leader in the water. He was crying out in pain that he thought he broke his ankle. When the raft tossed him out, his ankle had gotten stuck in between two rocks, and to keep from drowning, he had to yank it free. It wasn’t broken, and everyone was ok. The raft however was pulled underneath the rock. We laugh at it now, but as it was happening, it was terrifying. I was worried for those in the raft, and especially my brother. It made me realize how quickly things can go wrong, and always be prepared for what could happen on any trip.
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