Survival TV crew member rescued from island cave

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Another example of the lengths to which producers will go in their search for reality television was demonstrated yesterday when a Japanese film crew member had to be flown to hospital from a cave on the Isle of Mull.

Another example of the lengths to which producers will go in their search for reality television was demonstrated yesterday when a Japanese film crew member had to be flown to hospital from a cave on the Isle of Mull.

The woman, 26, collapsed with suspected hypothermia while filming a survival programme on the remote Scottish island. The crew were all from Japan - a country famed for treating extreme endurance as entertainment.

The rescue, which came on the day the BBC announced the production of a show based on the toughest SAS selection techniques, SAS - Are You Tough Enough?, raised questions as to whether limits were being pushed too far in the war for ratings.

The Japanese crew are believed to have been on the Isle of Mull for several days filming survival and endurance techniques. Strathclyde Police described it as a version of Castaway.

Shortly after 2am yesterday they were camped in a cave at the bottom of a remote 60ft cliff in temperatures just above freezing when the woman passed out.

A local guide, who was accompanying the eight men and women, telephoned police who immediately contacted Clyde coastguard. An RAF helicopter was dispatched with an RNLI lifeboat and coastguards from Tobermoray.

During the four-hour rescue in force six winds and rain, the helicopter sent down a rescuer to stabilise the patient. The pair were then winched up with a male colleague before being flown to the hypothermia unit at Belford Hospital in Fort William.

Robin Watson, watch manager at Clyde Coastguard, said: "From first reports it seems the crew have not been particularly well prepared for the rigours of the weather in the west of Scotland at this time of year."

The rest of the team waited until daylight before returning to the Western Isles Hotel in Tobermoray. A spokesman for the Fort William hospital said: "The young woman is comfortable. They don't want any details released at all."

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