NEW RICHMOND, W.Va. (AP) _ Four tardy students at Wyoming East High School put a new spin on that old our-school-bus-ran-late excuse _ it was their rafts that ran late.

Coben Thorn, Adam Fulford, Eric McKinney and Jarrod Brewer decided to take advantage of a two-hour class delay on April 16 and travel to school by raft.

Three of the four had previously ridden rafts on the Gauley and New rivers. McKinney was the only novice.

``It was something we'd always wanted to do,'' Thorn said.

Riding in two small rubber rafts, they made their way down the Guyandotte River with homemade paddles constructed from sticks, cookie sheets and duct tape.

However, they miscalculated the time required to make the eight-mile trip and missed their first class.

Word of their journey had spread and about 50 students and four teachers were waiting when they arrived.

``The water was extremely cold,'' Thorn said. ``By the time we got to school, we were shaking.''