NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2007 9
Soaking, shivering – but safe
● Hikers set off at the start of the Ten Tors challenge, before
Dartmoor was hit by bad weather Picture: Sgt Gaz Tyson (Army)
MORE than 2,000 teenagers were taken to safety
from Dartmoor by Royal Navy and Army personnel as
rainstorms hit the Ten Tors challenge weekend.
The youngsters had set off in teams of six early on the
Saturday morning to tackle courses around the bleak moor.
They carried everything they
needed, including food, camping
equipment and foul-weather gear,
and all had undergone extensive
training before tackling the Army-
848 Naval Air Squadron, part of
the Commando Helicopter Force,
had two Sea Kings assigned to this
year’s event, to re-supply the many
Servicemen and women who help
marshal the event and to evacuate
The annual Ten Tors challenge
sees 2,400 individuals hike for
35, 45 or 55 miles between ten
specific tors – granite outcrops in
● Teenagers struggle through
the 368 square mile wilderness.
the torrential rain on Dartmoor
Although rivers on the moor
Picture: Sgt Gaz Tyson (Army)
were high, organisers were
content that they did not present
and they were to stay in their By midday Sunday, all had
an unacceptable danger as the
camps, where they were safe and been evacuated, with a number
teenagers started one of the most
sheltered, and wait to be picked suffering the effects of the cold
prestigious adventurous training
up in the well-honed evacuation and rain or minor sprains.
exercises open to them.
procedure in the morning. This is not the first time extreme
But the weather conditions
At this point the Navy’s weather has played a major role.
deteriorated through the day, and
helicopters proved their worth, In 1998 the temperature soared
the forecast suggested rivers would
recovering some 250 people in into the 80s, while in 1996 a
become dangerously swollen. fierce wind and torrential rain.
snowstorm caused the event to
By 9.30pm that day, the order Others were taken off by be cancelled, and once again RN
went out to all participants – the Ten Army vehicles, or led to safety by helicopters were in the spotlight as
Tors was cancelled immediately, marshals. 2,100 youngsters were evacuated.
● A Sea King from 848 Naval Air Squadron prepares to fl y into Dartmoor during the Ten Tors weekend
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