Page last updated at 12:30 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 13:30 UK

Campers rescued from rising water

Flooded campsite
The campers were winched to safety after the river burst its banks

Five campers have been rescued by helicopter after becoming trapped when a river broke its banks.

The four men and one woman were camping on the Isle of Arran when their site at Glenrosa became cut off on an island created by the swollen river.

The alarm was raised at 0750 BST and a Royal Navy helicopter was scrambled to airlift the campers from the site to a local community centre.

The decision was then taken to evacuate the whole campsite.

At one point, as they tried to escape from the island, the campers were up to their waists in water. The campsite owner also waded into the water up to his neck to try to help them but was forced to turn back.

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The campers are rescued by helicopter

A Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet, Prestwick, winched four of the people into the helicopter and lifted the fifth to dry land.

The group was taken by ambulance for check-ups. None of them was thought to be injured but all were being checked for possible hypothermia.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "This was a close-run event. The water levels were rising rapidly and there was simply no other way they were going to escape.

"It was a good multi-agency operation which had a happy ending for which we are all grateful."

Search and Rescue mission co-ordinator Peter Stewart said: "It was a pretty wild night. You are always told not to pitch your tent by the river. They had tried to get across the river themselves, but got into difficulties and turned back.

"It could have been far worse but fortunately they are all safe and well, though shaken by the ordeal."

A number of other agencies were involved in the rescue, including rescue co-ordinators Clyde Coastguard, Arran Coastguard rescue team, Strathclyde Police and the ambulance service.




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