MARLOW, N.H. (AP) – A teenage girl who was trapped in a Vermont cave for several hours was kept company by her instructors and had food, water and warm clothes delivered to her during her ordeal, the director of the Kroka Expeditions wilderness school said Wednesday.

The girl had been exploring the False Cliff Cave in Dorset, Vt., as part of the school’s Caves, Cliffs and Waterfall summer program when she fell from near the top of a 10-foot rope ladder, Misha Golfman said in an incident report.

One of the instructors broke the girl’s fall, but she suffered a small cut on her cheek along with leg and lower back pain. Concerned about a possible spinal injury, instructors decided to call for help.

Two instructors stayed with the girl, making sure she was warm and comfortable and providing emotional support, Golfman said. A rescue team from the school worked with local authorities to set up a hauling system, and the girl was rescued around 1 a.m. She was released from the hospital early the next morning.

Golfman praised the cooperation of all involved, particularly Vermont Cave Rescue.

“Incidents do happen in adventure education. Appropriate risk-taking activities are very important for the healthy development of capable youth,” he said, emphasizing the school’s excellent safety record. “The handling of this incident by everyone involved provides for outstanding learning opportunities in incident prevention, emergency response and rescue efforts.”

Kroka Expeditions was founded in 1996 and offers summer programs, programs for schools and accredited high school semesters focused on adventure sports, wilderness skills and sustainable living.

. The cave exploration program is for children age 12-16 and includes eight students and three instructors.

Authorities said the girl is from Florida but did not otherwise identify her.

AP-ES-07-02-08 1641EDT


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