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Last Updated: Monday, 5 March 2007, 15:36 GMT
Moor trek stays after girl dies
Dartmoor rescue
Three groups of youngsters were airlifted off Dartmoor
The Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor will go ahead as planned despite the death of a teenage girl in training.

The girl, from Edgehill College near Bideford, Devon, was swept away by water at the rain-swollen Walla Brook, near Watern Tor, on Sunday.

Twenty-six people from three schools, including Edgehill, were airlifted from the moor in atrocious weather.

The Army, which has organised the trekking expedition since 1960, said it would go ahead as planned in May.

The girl was in a party of 10 Edgehill boys and girls aged about 14 who were training for the event, which sees thousands of youngsters walk on courses of up to 55 miles (86km) across the moor.

Walla Brook

An army spokesman said all groups had trained managers.

"This is the first time a fatality has occurred in either training or during the event itself," he said.

"The student was part of a managed group from her college and all managers undergo mandatory training where they are instructed in training and preparing a team."

The Army's 43 Wessex Brigade is in charge of giving group managers training on how to prepare teams.

"Each team carries a comprehensive guide giving clear dos and don'ts and precautions to be taken on the moor, " said the spokesman.

"At present there are no plans to cancel or change the event planned for May 12 and 13 this year."

The pupil was a delightful member of our school community
Edgehill College
Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating the incident which happened at about 1405 GMT on Sunday and the coroner's office has been informed.

Members of the dead girl's team will be interviewed as part of the police investigation.

Det Ch Insp Steve Carey said: "There is absolutely no suggestion at all of wrongdoing.

"The police are here to fully investigate the circumstances and report them to the coroner."

The college, a Methodist independent boarding and day school, said in a statement: "We are all shocked by the tragedy and are working to support all the pupils and staff in coming to terms with what happened.

Map graphic
"The pupil was a delightful member of our school community.

"She loved to be involved in all the activities the school runs and shared her love of sport by helping to coach younger pupils. We will all miss her enormously."

About 85 teams were training on the moor over the weekend.

Two other teams, from Milton Abbey School in Dorset, and Lipson Community College in Plymouth, were also airlifted from the moor after calling the Dartmoor Rescue Service on Sunday.

In a separate incident, the helicopter from Cornwall's RNAS Culdrose base, which rescued the teenagers, was involved in airlifting a man and a woman who later died after being swept into the sea at Mullion Cove in Cornwall on Sunday afternoon.

What is your experience of training exercises on Dartmoor? Have you ever had safety concerns? Are you worried that future expeditions could now be under threat?

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