An Army cadet from Hartlepool, County Durham, who had to be rescued from the Mourne Mountains on Wednesday has spoken of the “horrifying experience”.
Georgia Doughty was taking part in an expedition with the Cleveland Army Cadet Force when the group got into difficulties in treacherous weather.
Some of the children needed treatment for hypothermia, but have all now been released from hospital.
“I don’t ever want to experience it again,” Georgia told BBC Newcastle.
“I thought I was going to have to make a phone call and tell my mum I was going to die – ‘you’re never going to see me again’.”
The 16-year-old, from Hartlepool, said the group had to cross a waterfall, gripping a piece of rope and pulling themselves along, as part of the rescue operation.
“Every time I close my eyes I can see the fog and people wrapped in blankets and stuff,” she said.
Children as young as 12 were among those rescued, and 17 had to be stretchered off the mountain during the emergency operation.
The alarm was raised at 11:13 BST and the operation involved the ambulance service, police and Mourne Mountain rescue team.
Newcastle, Bangor and Kilkeel Coastguard Rescue teams, and the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopters based at Caernarfon and Prestwick, were also on scene.
The Irish Coastguard’s 116 helicopter from Dublin also attended.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) declared a major incident just after 13:00 BST.
Georgia’s mum, Barbara Moody, said waiting for news of the rescue was “horrible”, but said she has “every faith” in the officers and everyone else involved with the cadets.
“They are good people, I would trust them with my life,” she said.
Despite her experience, Georgia has said she wants to continue with the cadets and will try another expedition – just not yet.
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