I'd been in the water for several minutes when I spotted an alder branch hanging over the ice about 60 feet downstream. I positioned myself to grab it, and when I did the current smacked me against the ice and about cracked my ribs. But I held on. I secured my right arm around the branch and tucked my right hand inside my waders to keep my arm in the locked position. I tried to get onto the ice, but I was too weak and my waders were too heavy. The alder was only 2 inches thick, and I couldn't see much else downstream for me to grab if it broke. The water was absolutely frigid, and gradually my mind started to slow. I started to worry about hypothermia.