WALPOLE, N.H. (AP) -- One of the things Karlie Zurmuhlen loves most about Paul Smith's College is waking up to the view outside her dormitory window: Lower St. Regis Lake and the mountains and forests around it.

But on the last day of classes this month, the lake's cold waters brought tragedy.

Two canoes carrying six students flipped in the lake, and Zurmuhlen, an 18-year-old freshman from Walpole, N.H., was among those who risked their lives to help pull students out of the water and back to the shore. "I just knew that the people that were out there. We had to get to them," she told The Keene Sentinel.

Only four of the six students made it to safety. Sean Cornell, 20, of Manchester Center, Vt., due to graduate last Sunday, and freshman Lee Walker, 18, of Enosburg Falls, Vt., died.

For Zurmuhlen, wiping away tears as she told her story, the days since the accident have been about coping.

"My friends' faces just keep coming back to my head every time I try sleeping," she said.

As does the memory of learning after her rescue that not all of her friends had been saved.

"We thought we had everybody ..." she said, looking away.

Zurmuhlen said she is proud of everyone who answered the screams for help that echoed through the darkness from the lake on the night of Friday, May 4.

"We all came together like the (Paul Smith's) family we are."

Tucked in the Adirondack Mountains and surrounded by thousands of acres of forests, streams and lakes, the 800-student college in Paul Smiths is miles from any city. It's a place where everyone knows everyone and the whole school comes together for activities.

Zurhuhlen, a 2006 Fall Mountain High School, N.H. graduate, was in a friend's dorm room around 11 p.m. that night when they heard the screams from the lake. She sprinted outside without any shoes. Temperatures were barely above freezing.

Zurmuhlen jumped into a canoe and pushed off into the night with another student in the front.

"We knew it would be too long if we waited," she said. "We just knew that we had to do something."

Zurmuhlen held a spotlight, flashing it back and forth across the water. Finally, they spotted two people treading water by their capsized canoe.

She recognized friends Shane Lumbra and Alex Smith.

"It was scary," she said, brushing away tears, but "it was just kind of a relief that we found them, that they were going to be okay."

She can't remember how the two got into her canoe.

"I don't even know how we didn't flip it," she said.

"They just grabbed on to me and said, Thank you so much, Karlie. You got us, you saved us,'" Zurmuhlen said.

She yelled to those on shore to bring warm clothes and blankets, and after students hollered back later that all of those missing had been found, they paddled back to shore.

Later that night, Zurmuhlen heard that two other friends were still missing: Walker and Cornell.

The next afternoon, divers found Walker's body, and a vigil was held that night with a campfire and prayers.

It was "kind of a relief to know that they had found (him)," that his family would get to see him, Zurmuhlen said.

Her final exam the next day was waived, and by Sunday afternoon, the news came that Cornell's body had been found.

Zurmuhlen recently returned to the campus for the two funerals and Sunday's commencement, where Lumbra and Smith, the students she helped rescue, graduated after finishing a two-year program.

Many of the students who took part in the rescue are planning to help the school enact better safety measures next year.

"The lake's never going to go away," Karlie said. "It's something students should be able to enjoy, but enjoy safely."

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