Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Sunday, 30 March 2008 09:50 UK

Youths rescued in Tors warm-up

Ten Tors training team
The Ten Tors training teams returned to the Okehampton camp

Eighteen people have been airlifted off Dartmoor after bad weather caused problems for youngsters training for the annual Ten Tors event.

Police said 106 teams of up to 10 people were taking part in a weekend of training in Devon.

Parts of the moor suffered heavy rain and southerly winds of up to 40mph (64km/h) on Saturday.

Those airlifted were taken back to the event base camp in Okehampton with minor injuries.

The teams were preparing for the 2008 event, now in its 48th year, due to be held on 10 and 11 May.

Broken ankle

Teams, each consisting of at least six young people and ranging in age from 14 to 20, will compete on 35, 45 and 55-mile (56, 72 and 88km) routes.

Those airlifted, including a 14-year-old boy who suffered an asthma attack, were rescued by a helicopter from RMB Chivenor.

Some were taken to Okehampton Community Hospital for triage and treated for various sprains. A 14-year-old boy was detained with a suspected broken ankle.

Ten Tors organiser looks at map
Organisers recalled teams from the moor
A police spokesman said: "Around 1,000 children remain on the moor and conditions are unpleasant but not dangerous".

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "The teams were taking part in a training weekend for Ten Tors and a number were affected by the bad weather.

"They have been flown to RMB Chivenor where they will be checked for any injuries."

About 1,000 youngsters spent the night on Dartmoor.

In March 2007, a 14-year-old girl taking part in a similar training exercise for that year's Ten Tors died after falling into a swollen stream during heavy rain.

Two months later two-day event itself was abandoned because of heavy rain. All 2,400 youngsters taking part had to be evacuated off the moor, assisted by the Army, 700 volunteers and two Royal Navy helicopters.

In an unrelated incident, the Dartmoor Rescue Group also assisted a 30-year-old woman at Hangingstone Hill who was suffering from effects of the cold weather. She was treated by ambulance staff.


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