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Schoolgirls rescued from hilltop Students worried by cows rescued
(about 5 hours later)
A group of teenage schoolgirls and their teacher were rescued overnight after getting into difficulties on an orienteering expedition in Dorset. A full-scale rescue operation was launched after a group of college students on a night-time orienteering trek became worried by a herd of cows.
Coastguard, ambulance and police were called out on Monday night after reports of eight students and a male tutor stranded on a hill near Swanage. Rescuers were called out on Monday night after the seven teenagers became stuck on a hill near Swanage, Dorset.
Two girls were treated for knee injuries at the scene and one of them was taken to hospital with hypothermia. The group from St Albans had been tasked with using map-reading skills to find their way to the nearby adventure centre they were staying in.
The group were from a school in St Albans in Hertfordshire. A Loreto College spokeswoman said the task was run by an "experienced team".
Poor weather An element of risk can never be completely eradicated from any activity College spokeswoman
Jim Anderson, Portland Coastguard watch manager, said they took a 999 call from a teacher at about 2130 BST. The teenagers, aged 14 and 15, were on the residential field trip as part of their geography coursework.
He said: "The group had been staying at an adventure centre nearby. On Monday night, they were dropped off about three miles (4.8km) from the centre and asked to find their way back.
"The two girls who had sustained knee injuries were treated at the scene by paramedics and one of them was taken to Poole General Hospital suffering with hypothermia. They were given mobile phones and emergency numbers in case they got into difficulty.
"We were pleased to have found them so quickly since the weather was inclement and had they been out on the hill for longer, more of them could have started to suffer with hypothermia." They contacted the centre when they came across the field of cows and coastguard, police and ambulance crews were sent to the scene.
Hospital check-up
"One group of seven girls became concerned and used their phones to call for help from the centre, as instructed," the Hertfordshire college spokeswoman said.
"The centre began to direct the girls home and a member of centre staff went out to join them.
"Last night's activity was run by an experienced and established team.
"Although an element of risk can never be completely eradicated from any activity, the benefits of field work are widely acknowledged, both in terms of increasing pupils' practical knowledge and building their teamwork and decision-making skills."
None of the girls were injured but one teenager who complained of feeling cold was taken to hospital to be checked over by medical staff.