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A group of high school students was rescued from an inlet near Augusta after the canoes they were paddling capsized.

The students and a teacher were on nine canoes and were on the Blackwood River when they approached an inlet about 12.30pm.

Once there, the group encountered unfavourable weather, causing the canoes to capsize.

Witnesses who saw the commotion from the shore ran to a nearby shop to call emergency service crews for help.

Two Augusta sea rescue boats were deployed - one to pick up 17 students and a teacher and the other to collect the stricken canoes.

The group was taken to the local hospital for a check-up.

Three of the students experienced minor hypothermia and doctors were checking an asthmatic student.

Augusta Volunteer and Marine Rescue Group Cdr Marty Graco said the students were aged about 15 or 16-years-old and were cold and wet as a result of their experience.

“We had three with mild hypothermia, one with bad asthma, and the rest of them were severely cold and wet,” Cdr Graco said.

“We were pretty much straight on to it but they were obviously wet from the rain, and the wind would have been freezing them.”

Mr Graco said all students were wearing life jackets and some made their way to the bank of a nearby island on the opposite side of the inlet.

“It gets very choppy there, the wind comes across it. There is no way in the world they could have swum across it.”

The youths were all from a school in WA's South West and were taking part in a camp.