Samsa on standby to rescue Fiennes

2013-02-25 20:31
Sir Ranulph Fiennes Foto: Getty Images

Sir Ranulph Fiennes Foto: Getty Images

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Cape Town - The SA Maritime Association says it is on standby to help with the evacuation of British explorer Ranulph Fiennes, who has pulled out of the expedition to cross Antarctica during the region's winter, after developing a severe case of frostbite.

According to the BBC, the 68-year-old explorer was injured while skiing during training for the 4 000km trek.

The explorer apparently had tried fixing a ski binding using his bare hands in temperatures around -30°C.

The rescue attempt is being hampered by a blizzard.  Fiennes is about 70km from Novo research station.   

"Until there is a let up in the weather conditions, Fiennes will be unable to leave," The Coldest Journey website stated.

A source told News24 that an IL 76, belonging to a private company and based in Cape Town, would probably be used to evacuate Fiennes.

The plane, with the minimum on board, would fly from Cape Town to Troll research station, where it would refuel. The advantage, he said, was that Troll had a well-lit landing strip.

The flight time from Cape Town to Troll is about 7 hours.

The source said that from Troll the plane would fly to Novo, before following the same route back.

Samsa CEO Commander Tsietsi Mokhele said on Monday night that they were concerned about "Sir Ran's" condition.

"We will offer our assistance in whatever way necessary to ensure his safe return to Cape Town from where he will be given medical attention."

- News24
Read more on:    samsa  |  ranulph fiennes  |  antarctica  |  maritime
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