Cadets praised by Northumberland RAF rescue crew

A group of air cadets who got into difficulty while walking in "diabolical" weather have been praised by the RAF crew that rescued them.

The group, from Northumberland, were on a Duke of Edinburgh's Award walk in Kidland Forest, when one fell ill with suspected hypothermia.

They put up a tent and kept him warm as they waited for the RAF Boulmer helicopter.

Winchman Sgt Ben Jacobs said the group had "done a good job".

He said they knew exactly where they were and gave their exact grid reference to the emergency services after calling them on Friday.

Torrential rain

"The crew all said that they had done a good job and the best job they could, even down to little things like hearing the helicopter and coming to meet it," Sgt Jacobs said.

"The woods in Kidland are big, we would have had trouble locating them.

"They knew where they were, they picked a good spot to shelter him in. They had managed to find a dry spot in the trees, erected a tent and got him warm."

Sgt Jacobs said the 15-year-old patient was taken to hospital and the remaining eight members of the group, from Morpeth and Ashington, chose to end their walk and go with him.

"The weather was diabolical," he said.

"Torrential rain, a fair amount of fog and low cloud."

He said the boy had warmed up by the time the helicopter arrived at Wansbeck Hospital and he was not in a serious condition.

Bridget Donaldson, 15, from Cambo, Morpeth, called the emergency services and gave them the grid reference.

She said: "We are air cadets so we know a bit about survival training but we just did what we thought was right.

"It was awful weather. We could only see about 20 metres in front of us and the rain was almost like hail stones."

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