Search on for Antarctic explorer

2012-01-25 13:02
Wellington - New Zealand was searching on Wednesday for a Norwegian explorer believed to be planning a second unauthorised trip to Antarctica, less than a year after his first resulted in three deaths.

The foreign ministry said it was searching for Jarle Andhoy's yacht Nilaya after the Norwegian government raised concerns that the adventurer planned to travel back to Antarctica without permission.

Officials said Andhoy arrived in New Zealand earlier this month and authorities were trying to locate the yacht, including sending a customs vessel and aircraft to search waters around Auckland.

The Norwegian led a five-man expedition to Antarctica last February, in which he and another member attempted to reach the South Pole on quadbikes as the remaining three waited for them aboard their sailboat Beserk.

But the vessel sank when a fierce storm packing winds of 180km/h battered the Ross Sea and the three on board were never found despite an extensive search co-ordinated from New Zealand.

"The Southern Ocean is one of the most remote and inhospitable areas in the world," New Zealand foreign affairs said in a statement.

"New Zealand government agencies are obviously concerned about any possibility that there could be a repeat of last year’s events in the Ross Sea."

After the first expedition, Andhoy, who was airlifted unharmed from Antarctic along with his companion, rejected criticism of the way he had conducted the mission, which was not authorised by Norwegian authorities.

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