Tragedy struck in 1993 when four young canoeists died after their party hit bad weather in Lyme Bay.

The group of youngsters from Southway Comprehensive School, Plymouth, ran into rough conditions on their trip and finished up in the water.

Dorset Echo coverage of the terrible incident plotted the efforts of searchers, fishing boats, lifeboats and Royal Navy helicopters to find the missing youngsters. 

Rescuers first found empty canoes and then came across canoeists in the water, winching several of them unconscious from the icy seas where they had struggled for more than four hours.

Dorset Echo:

The students’ canoes plucked from the sea

Distraught relatives of the 11 canoeists arrived through the night at Weymouth and District Hospital to be at their side and a ward was specially cleared and extra staff called in to threat those suffering from hypothermia.

Two girls and two boys died and the disaster was debated in Parliament where MPs called for tighter regulations for outdoor adventure centres.

Parents of those involved in the incident later thanked the people of Dorset for all the support they had given families during the tragedy.

Click here to remembers the 1990s evacuation of Portland due to an unexploded bomb