Three teenagers believed to be suffering from hypothermia had to be rescued from an island on a lake after they became trapped in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Emergency services were called at about 4am after the youngsters, who were camping on a small island in the middle of Charnwood water in Loughborough, were reported as being in distress.
The fire service said the group had gone camping at the secluded beauty spot but changed their minds and tried to make it back to shore in a kayak.
However, their boat capsized in the darkness and three of them swam back to the island.
A fourth youngster managed to get back to the car park and call for help.
The trapped campers made a fire to keep warm while they waited to be rescued.
Two crews from Loughborough and two technical rescue teams arrived at the scene, as well as paramedics.
They used an 8ft inflatable raft to cross over and bring the freezing teens back to safety.
The cold, wet youngsters were treated for suspected hypothermia by paramedics, but it is not clear whether they were taken to hospital.
Crew manager Mick Wallace, from Southern fire station, said: "It was a group of teenagers who had gone camping for the night and I think a couple of them, or all of them, decided it wasn't the weather and they wanted to come back.
"So they got in the boat but it capsized and they swam back to the island. They managed to get a campfire going to keep warm and then waited for the emergency services to arrive."
A number of residents saw the blue lights flashing yesterday morning as the crews prepared to mount their early morning rescue.
Others said they were not surprised to hear the news as crossing over to the island was a tradition which had been going on for years.
A lady who lives nearby said: "We used to swim out there when we were kids, so it doesn't surprise me that kids are still doing it. But I went out to feed the swans this morning and the water had a thin layer of ice over the top and stopped the swans from paddling towards me – so it must have been very cold last night."
Resident Beverly Smith, 55, said: "I was fast asleep unfortunately, so I missed it.
"But my kids – they're grown up now – used to do the same sort of thing all the time.
"It's just kids being kids isn't it – I hope they're okay."
Do you know who the rescued teenagers are? Call the Mercury's newsdesk on 0116 222 4241.