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Last Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007, 13:16 GMT
Dartmoor death: your comments

I was on Dartmoor this weekend and met the group. I am surprised that this happened. I am now planning to finish Ten Tors but am concerned about the weather conditions we may encounter. I am upset and feel sorry for the parents.
Kurt Duddridge, Bridgwater, Somerset, UK

This is right on my doorstep, I live just inside the national park. Saturday was a beautiful day but Sunday was completely different. This reminds us all that we must take care and respect the elements in these wild and beautiful parts of our country. My heart goes out to the youngsters family.
Vaughan Brean, Yelverton, Devon

Eighty five teams were out on Dartmoor on Sunday in torrential rain and storm force winds. Several of these needed to be airlifted to safety. The organisers must arrange a more suitable time of year for this children's race or cancel it altogether.
Carole, Cornwall

Schools should supply sufficient written information on school trips for parents. I was expected to sign a consent form allowing my 5 year old to visit an outdoor pursuits centre next to a large river, and was given the time he would go and return, where it was and to take a picnic, warm clothing and a teddy bear! No other information was supplied. Needless to say we did not consent.
Gillian Snape, Conwy North Wales

I recall preparing for the Ten Tors at the same time in 1966, age 15. On the expedition one of our party, Roland, walked into a bog and we were laughing until he went up to his chest and we formed a human chain to pull him out. He wanted to give up but we split his pack and made him continue - otherwise we wouldn't be awarded a medal - only a certificate. I have a very healthy regard for these wild places because conditions change so quickly and would never go on Dartmoor without a 10m rope.
Mike Hemsley, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

My heart goes out to the family of this young lady, who I'm sure loved what she was doing.
Derek Newman, Newton Abbot

The family and friends of the girl will be devastated. It is a dreadful accident. 10 Tors is a marvellous event, teaching youngsters self-reliance and team work. It is not risk-free, and so teaches respect for our surroundings. Youngsters grow up as a result of 10 Tors. While there will be lessons to learn, it would be a huge loss for such events not to happen.
Martin Warren, Shebbear, Devon.

I have walked on Dartmoor since early childhood and am well aware of the potential hazards. Unfortunately when people go into the wilderness there are risks, and with the best preparation in the world things can go wrong. Dartmoor rivers are notorious for rising and falling very quickly and people often under estimate the difficulty of crossing even a small stream when it is in spate. Taking controlled risks is something that encourages self-reliance and confidence but I fear that our risk-averse society will call for children to be wrapped in cotton wool and never given the chance to grow up.
Pat Silver, Bristol

I used to live in Cornwall and know how treacherous it can be. I send my condolences to the parents of the teenager who died on Devon moor and the teenager who died on Mullion Cove. I commend the officers and staff of RNAS Culdrose the country is lucky to have you. God be with you and remain with you always
Charlotte Sadler, Blackpool

I used to go on training trips with a school. The organisation that went into the weekends we spent on Dartmoor was huge, but worth it. My thoughts go out to all those involved (family, friends and challenge teams), the challenge breeds a huge team sprit between those that train together.
Ex-teacher, Berkshire

I have a 14 year old daughter who is doing D of E and is keen to go off and take part in adventure weekends just like the ones on Dartmoor. She will get nothing but encouragement from me. The fact that children can be a little bit 'out there' is a good thing. Sit them in front of a Playstation and you know they will get fat and unfit. Get them out on in the wilds and they will develop and grow. The 'danger' is just a part of the deal.
Peter Brown, Salisbury, UK

I know from personal experience that a few showers of rain a tern a small stream into a raging torrent. The team should not of being allowed to cross the river in those conditions in the first place.
Matthew Colbourne, Exeter

Whilst my condolences lie with the girl's family, I wonder why, when the forecast for Sunday was severe, these teenagers were allowed to train on Dartmoor. Not only did it cost the life of one person, it endangered many others, including the rescue services who put there lives on the line, to carry out there tasks.
Tim Holman, Plymouth England

This is a terrible accident brought on by horrendous weather. Dartmoor is one of the few places in the UK which makes you feel exposed and isolated, and the weather can change form blazing sunshine to snow within an hour, and this is why people love the place and its harsh beauty. I sincerely hope people will realise that this is a very unfortunate accident. My thoughts are to other girls parents
Trevor Wallace, Bristol

I have to question why so many teams persisted in training for 10 Tors given the well publicised extreme weather forecast for the weekend. My children have all taken part in the event - a few years ago they experienced dreadful weather on Dartmoor and about half the teams had to give up and were rescued as part of the well organised backup for the event.
OC, Devon

I am an Outdoor Recreation Undergraduate at the University of Derby and accidents which happen like this are usually unexpected and cause the outdoors industry a lot of damage. This is a tragedy and we have to look at whether this group was competent enough to travel across that terrain in those circumstances. Events like this should carry on though as we cannot wrap our future generations in cotton wool.
Jim Parker, Bakewell, Derbyshire

This is a tragic accident and any parent will be upset by this news. But Ten Tors is a fantastic event and I actually feel happier that my son is out there rather than walking the streets. A couple of months ago a 15 year old boy was stabbed walking through the city centre in Plymouth and we are told that teenage children have the higher rate of fatality on the roads. Yesterday was not the day to hike on the moor and perhaps the Dartmoor centre should be informed of. My heart goes out to the family, friends and teachers involved.
S Brown, Plymouth, Devon

Although no expert on training exercises, I live near the area where the girl was swept away. It's desperately sad. My comment is that given the weather conditions on the day, you wouldn't catch me going out on the moor.
Jon, Okehampton, Devon

I took part in Ten Tors 1996 which was eventually cancelled due to snow and difficult conditions late on Sunday. By then, we had navigated through snow, heavy rain, waded through a flooded river, but were generally fine, and a bit disappointed to be told they were cancelling the event! The event as well as the training was, and remains, one of the best experiences in my life - we had a great team and I am still in touch with some of them today. It teaches you teamwork, coping with difficult decisions under pressure, and makes you appreciate the outdoors. I would be sad to hear that the event was under threat due to one mishap.
Liz Barker, Oxford, UK

My son took part in Ten Tors training on the Saturday. I have no real concerns as I believe it is all properly managed. This unfortunate incident is out of kilter with the large numbers of students involved. I do wonder whether Sunday's training session should have been curtailed or cancelled due the extreme weather conditions. The whole experience I believe is a fantastic opportunity for all participants.
Mike Weeks, Honiton, Devon

Most of Dartmoor is true wilderness and the weather can produce dangerous conditions. Even the best-prepared walker cannot avoid all risk of slipping on rocks, tripping on bracken or falling into deep water. It's called an accident and can happen with or without a teacher or trainer at hand.
Ann, Tavistock (on the edge of Dartmoor)

I have done the Ten Tors expedition 3 times now. The weather is harsh on the moor and areas are remote but that is what makes it a challenge. I have always felt safe on the moor and never been in danger even after falling into rivers, by using correct techniques these problems can be overcome. This tragic accident is a harsh reminder of the dangers that thousands of people face whilst doing any outdoor activity, it will not however ever put my off walking on the moor or anywhere else
Robert Hudson, Bristol/Manchester

I've taken part in the Ten Tors and can honestly say that it's one of the best run events of its nature that I've ever taken part in. The event is not to blame. All adventurous activities carry an element of risk. Even experts can get caught out once in a while. Given the right training and experience, Dartmoor and other remote areas are safe and wonderful places if you give them, nature and the elements the respect that they deserve. Young people are just as capable of learning this as older people.
Deborah Smith, London, UK

I did training for Ten Tors two years ago. In my experience nothing can prepare you for the intense mental and physical challenge that you face in the event and you have to be so determined as a person to carry out the training in weather conditions such as those experienced on Sunday. This was an awful accident and although I don't feel that the event should be cancelled, I do feel that extra care should be taken in such circumstances especially on the part of the adult supervisors and organisers.
Chloe Collins, Devon

I trained for 3 years for Ten tors and took part in many other events across the moors. I was trained very well and understood all risks. Due to good training I never felt at risk. In circumstances and conditions such as these a team should be trained not to attempt the crossing of swollen rivers (if that was the case). Safety should always be first.
Michael Laffan, Newton Abbot, England






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