Schoolchildren abandon race to rescue girl from a flooded river


A team of schoolchildren have been praised for sacrificing their chances of completing an endurance challenge – to rescue a girl from a rain-swollen river and help others.

The six 15-year-olds from Bedminster Down School in Bristol started last weekend’s Ten Tors event on Dartmoor in gale force winds and torrential downpours.

But on the first day of the gruelling 35-mile trek they saw a girl in another group slip into a stream.

Quick-thinking youngster Max Alford dashed to the riverbank and tossed her a throw line to haul her to safety.

The group then stayed at the scene and used their ropes to create a guide line across the river to help more than 100 other youngsters safely across.

They selflessly spent three and a half hours making sure everyone reached the other side  – meaning they had no chance of completing the route themselves in the alloted time.

But organisers were so impressed with their actions they were awarded their event medals, even though they technically did not finish.

Brigadier Piers Hankinson said: “It is excellent that a team was willing to stop and help another team’s member who slipped into the water while trying to cross the river.

“The team can be congratulated for carrying out its safety drills to the best effect.

“This selfless act is further commendable, given the fact that the team gave up the opportunity of making the finish deadline time of 5pm on Sunday by staying and helping at the scene.”

Steve Christie, business manager at Bedminster Down School, said: “The three and a half hours spent helping others at the river gave them little chance of completing the route themselves.

“But on hearing of their exploits, Brigadier Hankinson, who is in charge of the challenge, took the highly unusual step of awarding the students their medals, even though they did not finish.

“In a special presentation ceremony, it was noted that the ‘selflessness of the team demonstrated the true spirit of the Ten Tors'”.

The Bedminster Down team included Matt Hunt, Max Alford, Monique Ben-Carew, Charlie Bright, Alice Baker and Harry Roddick.



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