The search continues for a 22-year-old University of Minnesota student who likely was swept into St. Anthony Falls.
Christopher Stanley and a friend, Grant Keiner, were sitting on a ledge above the falls moments before they landed in the river Tuesday evening, said Theodore Maple, a friend to both men but who wasn’t at the river at the time. Keiner survived going over the falls.
They went there to meditate, Maple said.
Maple said Keiner was moving his arms forward with his breath when he lost his balance on the ledge that’s at least 10 feet above the water. Keiner told police a large wave swept him into the Mississippi River and over the falls. He got out of the water but couldn’t find Stanley, believing he also went over the falls.
The two men apparently climbed an 8-foot fence that encloses Water Power Park, near an Xcel Energy site along the St. Anthony Main area. Signs posted warn of hazardous waters and say “Use at your Own Risk.” They weren’t trespassing because there are no signs warning people to stay out, said Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board spokeswoman Robin Smothers.
Maple said Stanley, a neurobiology major who grew up in St. Louis Park, meditated every day and often went to the river. “He loved the beauty and power of it,” Maple said.
After graduating in May, Maple said Stanley planned to bike the length of the Mississippi River. He was an avid bike rider who “just loved the river,” Maple said.
Search teams, which scoured the shore and water Tuesday night and again Wednesday, continued their work on Thursday.