Major emergency response as dozens of teen army cadets get into difficulty camping in Mourne Mountains
All Army cadets evacuated from a mountain in Northern Ireland following bad weather are safe, a spokesman said.
A group of more than 50 from the Cleveland Army Cadet Force in Middlesbrough were on a training exercise in the Mourne range in Co Down when they got into difficulties on Wednesday.
The young people from an army cadet force in Cleveland England were on an annual camp based at Ballykinlar.
Children as young as 12 were among those rescued. Five suffered ankle injuries after slipping on wet stones and a number were treated for the effects of exposure, the MoD said.
A spokesman for the British army added: "We can confirm that all Army cadets caught in today's inclement weather on the Mourne Mountains are safe and accounted for."
The Mournes are a range south of Belfast which is extremely popular with walkers but like all mountains the conditions can be unpredictable.
The group included children aged from 12-17.
Emergency services were called to the scenic Annalong Valley at around midday.
A Mourne Mountain Rescue spokesman said it was not a major incident but weather had caught them out.
He added: "It is nothing out of the ordinary.
"Everything is under control and within normal team procedure."
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service paramedics provided medical support.
Newcastle, Bangor and Kilkeel Coastguard Rescue Teams, and the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopters based at Caernarfon and Prestwick, were on scene.
Also attending were the Irish Coastguard Rescue 116 helicopter, Mourne Mountain Rescue Team, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and ambulance service.
An MoD spokesman said: "We are exceptionally grateful for their assistance."
The Coastguard was contacted by the PSNI and Ambulance Service just before 12pm on Wednesday requesting assistance after receiving several reports that a large number of people were in difficulty after being caught in inclement weather.
Also dispatched to the scene was the Irish Coastguard Rescue 116 helicopter, Mourne Mountain Rescue Team, PSNI and NI Ambulance Service. The three helicopters are currently situated at Donard Park due to poor weather conditions and will support casualty evacuation as further information comes in.
SDLP MLA Colin McGrath said they had been experiencing "woeful weather" and that there was a "substantial emergency vehicle response".
He said: “Such an incident will surely highlight the need for extreme caution when walking in the mountains especially on days such as today when weather conditions have been atrocious on street/town level never mind up in the mountains."
Henry Reilly said conditions are "unbelievably bad for August".
He said: "People are in winter coats, so if it's like that in the low land what's is like in the high land?"
Additional reporting by Press Association