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Dartmoor rescue volunteers in search for kayakers

By GuyHenderson  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

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VOLUNTEERS from the Ashburton section of the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team were called out to search for a group of missing kayakers.

They were called by police at 8:15pm on Saturday, as officers said they were concerned about the welfare of three overdue kayakers on the upper Dart gorge, a few miles north-west of Holne.

Just before nightfall the group had been passed by other kayakers who reported them as having difficulties around an area known as Euthanasia Falls.

On arrival the police monitored the usual exit points of the gorge for signs of the three, but when they didn’t appear, the rescue volunteers were called to search the upper Dart and the gorge.

A spokesman said: "Our teams compromising of our Level 2 and 3 Specialist Swift Water Technicians and the South West Ambulance Hazardous Area Response Team swept the gorge from Newbridge up to Hockinston Marsh but no signs of the kayakers or their equipment was spotted and the team were stood down around midnight."

On Monday the DSRT reported that they had been contacted by someone who believed that their group was the one in question.

Three of their party decided to walk out at about 4.30pm when a few hundred metres below Euthanasia falls.

They were well equipped and other members of the party finished at Newbridge and drove up to meet them on the track near Venford Reservoir and take them back to lodgings.

The spokesman added: "We appreciate the contact we have had from the paddling community and are very pleased that all were safe and well. We would rather be called out and not be needed than not be called which often leads to tragedy."

DSRT Swift Water specialists will be at a Paddlers Party at the River Dart Country Park on March 2.

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