Mourne Mountains rescue as around 70 army cadets stranded

Seventeen children had to be stretchered off the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland after an emergency involving a group of Army Cadets from England.

The group, consisting of around 70 people, 10 of them adults, from the Cleveland Army Cadets Force were in the County Down mountains when the weather took a turn for the worse.

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The alarm was raised at 11.13 on Wednesday morning, and the Coastguard, helicopter crew, ambulance and Mountain Rescue were called to the scene. In all, 10 accident and emergency crew attended to help with the incident.

A major incident was called at 13.21 by Dr Nigel Ruddell, medical director for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS). Speaking to the BBC, he explained that a large number of the teens were struggling with the cold.

He added that group leaders had done a great job at protecting the teens.

The Annalong Harbour Watch kept its followers up to date with the rescue on Facebook.

Ken Johnston, chief press officer with the Ministry of Defence, Northern Ireland, told the BBC: "We had a number of young people from England attending an Army Cadet Force camp in Northern Ireland.

"This morning they were in the Mourne Mountains when that atrocious weather swept in. A decision was taken to withdraw as the weather and rain and wind continued."

He said that the rescue operation was "remarkable", and added: "We are exceptionally grateful."

Sky News reports that the teens from Middlesbrough were at their annual camp based at Ballykinlar, Northern Ireland, carrying out adventure training and cultural visits.

It's thought a handful of people suffered ankle injuries after slipping on wet stones, and others were treated for exposure.

In a statement on Facebook, the Cleveland Army Cadet Force said: "Many of you may be aware that there has been an incident in the Mourne Mountains involving Cleveland ACF cadets. All cadets have now been recovered from the mountains and accounted for."

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