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Pupil suffers severe hypothermia in school group's Mourne Mountain hike

By Allan Preston and Jonny Bell

Published 05/04/2016

A school girl was taken to hospital following the incident. Pic: Mourne Mountain Rescue Team.
A school girl was taken to hospital following the incident. Pic: Mourne Mountain Rescue Team.

A schoolgirl suffered severe hypothermia after her group got into difficulty on the Mourne Mountains on Monday night.

Several other members of the group of 11 suffered mild hypothermia.

They had been out on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition.

The major search and rescue operation swung into action just after 7.15pm when the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team received a call for assistance on the western side of Slieve Beg.

Specialist paramedics were also called in due to the potential number of causalities.

In all 23 people were involved in the rescue which ended at around 1am.

All the school children were treated at the scene and guided to safety, however, the schoolgirl was taken to hospital.

Conditions have been especially arduous with a constant downpour over the past three days.

A spokesperson for the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team praised the group for their efforts in keeping safe.

"Clearly had it not been for the outstanding efforts of the young people in this group, this situation would have been much much more serious."

Before the drama was resolved, concerned residents posted their support for the search. David Scott said: "As a former youth leader, I never rested easily until the young people returned safely."

Ulster Unionist councillor Harold McKee said care should be taken on the slopes. "It's always a danger," he added.

"With heavy rain the streams can turn into a river. It can be so dangerous."

The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team is a non-profit organisation and is made up of volunteers who are on call 24 hours every day of the year.

Donations can be made to its JustGiving page.

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