A DAY out turned into more like as SAS mission for a group of York youngsters on Skipwith Common.

The five workers, along with two mentors, came across an elderly man who had suffered a heart attack.

So the group of heroes, from the group Ad Astra, including mentors Luke Dixon and Leigh Paul-Rientoul, Alex McKenna, Callum McKenzie and Tyler Nicholson sprang into action.

Ad Astra director Sam Shaw said: “We’re an organisation that works with disengaged people across the north of England, and we have bases at Weldrake and Elvington in York.

“That day, the small group were doing some work on Skipwith Common, as we do a lot of outward-bound educational work.

“The guys came across an elderly gentleman in his 70s, a member of the Friends of Skipwith Common, who was extremely unwell. He’d passed out and was going grey and they realised he was having a heart attack.

“So they called an ambulance but the location at which he was taken ill, some bog land on the common, wasn’t accessible,” continued Sam.

“They had no option but to put together a makeshift stretcher, tying their coats around pieces of wood to hold it together. They were wet through after carrying the man two kilometres through boggy conditions, at times up to their waists, to the ambulance.

“Thankfully, the man made a full recovery.”

Ad Adstra, which has its head office on the Elvington Industrial Estate in York, looks to engage young people by using the surrounding countryside and facilities, and offers alternative education in and around the North of England.

Working in partnership with Natural England, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Escrick Park Estate and Elvington Air Museum to mention a few, its students work on creating natural habitats, building areas for wildlife and clearing areas for conservation as well as maintaining York’s ‘green spaces’.

The man at the centre of the dramatic rescue wished to remain anonymous.

However, he did say that he and his family were extremely grateful for the help he received from the young Ad Astra team in the rescue in December.