Young participants in the annual Ten Tors event had a torrid time at the weekend, culminating in a mass evacuation after torrential rain made conditions dangerous.

Two Sea King helicopters were used as 2,400 evacuated the 400 teams of six young people from rain-swept Dartmoor.

The Army and 700 volunteers worked throughout Sunday to ensure all the competitors were taken to safety. The Sea King helicopters, from RNAS Yeovilton, airlifted four teams at a time. Others were walked to safety or taken by road, including the team which had included Charlotte Shaw, who died during practice for the trek when she hit her head after falling into a swollen stream.

Many were distraught at not being able to complete the course, saying they would have been able to complete the event if allowed.

There were no serious injuries during the 55-mile event; problems encountered by team members included sprains and blisters. Organisers decided to abandon the event at 9.30 on Saturday evening as weather conditions worsened. 15% of teams had dropped out by this time.

The Army says all those who camped out on Saturday night would receive medals for taking part.