September 5, 2008
Teenagers Stranded By Collapse of Airline
DUKE of Edinburgh teenagers from South Wales were left stranded thousands of miles from home after an airline's collapse.
Ten Cyfarthfa High School pupils had spent pounds 800 each for a five-day canoeing trip in Canada to fulfil their gold level requirements.But the suspension of Zoom Airlines left 10 teens on the lakes of Algonquin without a paddle, and their worried parents were unable to phone them in the wildernesses to let them know.
Hannah Devereux, 17, was one of the pupils on the trip.
She said: "The first thing we knew about it was when the Trailhead company visited us.
"When we first heard about it, we thought it was a joke. Everyone was just laughing about it.
"But then when they said they were there to pick us up and we had to leave, we realised."
Help arrived from across the pond in the form of Merthyr Tydfil council's Youth Service, which spent hours frantically trying to find a solution.
Luckily for the pupils, who started school again this week, they managed to contact the relevant authorities and organise and fund two-stop flights that went through New York.
Paul Montague, trip organiser, said the last-minute problems didn't put a dampener on the trip.
He said: "The trip was fantastic and a wonderful experience for everyone involved, it was really good."
Zoom Airlines suspended all of its flights after applying to go into administration, blaming the high price of airline fuel.
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