CAMPERS have described the rescue of a newly-wed who became stranded in the middle of a flooded river.

The 20-year-old honeymooner was trapped on an island in the middle of the River Ure, at West Tanfield, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, for an hour-and-a-half while attempts were made to rescue her.

When fire crews failed to reach her by boat, a Sea King helicopter was sent from RAF Boulmer and the woman was winched to safety at about 9pm on Wednesday.

As the helicopter hovered over the river, the downdraught caused flames from a barbecue to set light to a caravan awning. Several tents were also blown over.

The woman from the Grimsby area, who was staying at nearby Sleningford Mill caravan site, had been playing on inflatable dinghies with friends when she fell into the swollen river.

Leading firefighter Mark Straker, from Ripon, helped in the rescue with colleagues from Masham and York.

He said that the stretch of river was notoriously dangerous and a canoeist had drowned nearby, in 2001.

"The group had been going up and down the river all day when the river was a lot lower - the speed it came up must have taken her by surprise.

"There was nowhere to launch a boat and the water was too deep and fast for us to wade across, so the only option was the Sea King," he said.

The woman was taken to Harrogate District Hospital by ambulance for a check-up.

Brian Frost, 58, of Bishop Middleham, County Durham, who was staying at the same caravan site, watched the rescue.

He said: "It was incredibly stupid for the campers to go into the river - five of them went in and only one had a life-jacket.

"The river had risen to a frightening level. It was very difficult for the man who came out of the helicopter.

"He had to be lowered down twice and was horizontal against the water when he finally got hold of her."

Holidaymaker Ron For-ester, 42, of Sunderland, said: "She looked embarrassed more than anything.

"The wind from the helicopter caused chaos with the tents. One tent was completely destroyed."

* Do you know the identity of the stranded honeymooner? If so, contact our newsdesk on (01325) 505064.