Fleet Air Arm Supports Yomping Youngsters

Thousands of youngsters from across the South West enjoyed near perfect conditions to take on the Ten Tors Challenge in May.

The event started and finished at Okehampton Camp in Devon and is now in its 51st year. It is one of the biggest adventure challenges for young people in Britain today.

2,400 youngsters set-off at 0700 hrs on a Saturday morning. After tackling some of the toughest terrain in England, 28th Kingswood Scouts from Bristol were first to cross the finish line in just over 25 hours, having walked 45 miles.

Just 156 individuals pulled out of the event, suffering from a mixture of cuts, bruises or the affects of the elements. All of the rescues were coordinated by the multi agency Ten Tors Operations Room at Okehampton Camp, which is run by the Army but also staffed by Dartmoor Search and Rescue Group, the emergency services and St John Ambulance.

Supporting the event were two Sea King helicopters of 848 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) and a Lynx helicopter of 815 NAS based at RNAS Yeovilton, who were on hand to provide logistic and casualty support for the walkers and the 250 less able bodied – many in wheelchairs or on trikes.

‘It all went very smoothly’ said Lieutenant Sam Hodgkinson a pilot from 848 NAS. ‘We aided in the safe evacuation of a number of children from the moor and transported a lot of personnel and equipment to and from the tors.’

‘I was extremely impressed by the tremendous spirit of the competitors’ said CSgt Wooldridge RM who is currently serving with the Commando Helicopter Force. ‘The energy and enthusiasm of all participants has been inspirational.’

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