A PE teacher who took a group of teenagers on a "river walk" hours before two schoolgirls were swept to their deaths in the same stream told an inquest it did not occur to her to warn later parties about rising rivers levels.

Dawn Nicholson was giving evidence on the third day of the inquest into the deaths of Hannah Black, 13, and Rochelle Cauvet, 14, at Harrogate Magistrates Court.

The hearing had already heard how the two girls were taking part in the river walk in Stainforth Beck, near Settle, North Yorks, when they died on the afternoon of October 10, 2000.

The walk was part of an outdoor activities trip run by Royds School, Oulton, near Leeds.

Miss Nicholson, 31, described how she led an identical trip with a group of children from the same school on the morning.

She described to the jury how the children had walked up the stream, partly in the water itself, until they turned around to come back the same way.

Miss Nicholson, who has taught for 10 years, said that by the time they returned 45 minutes later to recross the river the level of the water had risen appreciably.

But she said she could not say by exactly how much.

Miss Nicholson described how she and a sixth-form student helped the students to cross one-by-one.

She said one boy who said he was washed away during the crossing had been messing about earlier and she saw him in the rivers "on all fours". She said she shouted at him and he got out.

Asked if she would have undertaken to trip with the river levels as they were at the end of the walk she said: "With the knowledge that it was rising, no."

The assistant North Yorkshire Coroner John Sleightholme then asked her if it had occurred to her to phone staff at Ingleton Youth Hostel, who were later to lead Hannah and Rochelle's walk, to warn them of the rising levels.

She said: "No. I did not expect anybody to answer the phone at that time of the day." But Miss Nicholson, who said she was an experienced, qualified fellwalker, said she did not have details with her of what the other groups were doing that afternoon.