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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 21:23 GMT
Students safe after cave incident
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A group of 11 college students have been rescued from a cave complex in North Yorkshire after becoming trapped by fast-flowing water.

They were brought safely to the surface in a three-hour operation at Dow Cave near Kettlewell.

The cavers, aged 16 to 19, became trapped at 1545 GMT and were helped by cave rescue services and police.

North Yorkshire Police said the leaders of the group swam from the cave and raised the alarm at a village store.

They were all said to be unhurt.

Police later said the group trapped by fast flowing water consisted of 11 students and two adult leaders.

Two other leaders had managed to wade out of the cave to raise the alarm.

The students were based at Craven College in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

Police, fell rescue, fire and rescue and ambulance service personnel were involved in the emergency operation.

A police spokesman said: "All 11 of the students - aged between 17 and 20 - and the two remaining adult leaders had been safely removed from the cave by 6.50pm. None of them were injured."

The cavers were given routine medical checks by doctors and paramedics when they were brought to the surface. They were later driven to Craven College where their families had gathered.

Craven College principal Alan Blackwell said he would oversee an internal inquiry into the events leading up to the incident.

Mr Blackwell said: "I was notified immediately by my staff and was reassured that they had taken the students to an area of the cave which never floods and offered a safe haven.

"They kept the students in this safe area until the rescue services arrived."

The leaders of the group swam to safety

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