Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, ALE, reports with great sadness the death of polar expeditioner Henry Worsley at a hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile, after complications caused by bacterial peritonitis. Henry returned from Antarctica on January 23 after nearly completing his Shackleton Solo Expedition.
Henry began his expedition in November 2015 in support of The Endeavour Fund, an organization that supports wounded soldiers in the UK. He was attempting the first unsupported and unassisted solo crossing of the Antarctic landmass, a journey from Berkner Island to the Ross Ice Shelf via the South Pole. The route was expected to take him 75-80 days and at the time of pickup, he had been in the field for 71 days and travelled over 900 statute miles.
ALE maintained daily communication with Henry throughout the expedition on scheduled satellite phone calls. On January 22, Henry contacted ALE asking for pickup and was subsequently transported by Twin Otter aircraft to ALE’s Union Glacier camp. Upon arrival, he received treatment for extreme exhaustion and dehydration by two ALE doctors trained in remote emergency medicine.
Early on January 23, he boarded ALE’s Ilyushin-76 intercontinental aircraft and received treatment from an ALE doctor for the duration of the flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. Upon landing, Henry was transported by ambulance to hospital, where he was diagnosed with peritonitis and admitted for surgery. He was subsequently transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit where he passed away on January 24. ALE remained in close contact with the hospital throughout and continues to work closely with the family.
Henry was an experienced polar expeditioner and recently ended a 36-year career in the British Army. He had a strong passion for the pursuits of the early Antarctic explorers including Shackleton, Scott, and Amundsen and had completed two previous Antarctic expeditions, one in 2009 celebrating Shackleton’s Nimrod expedition and one in 2012 that recreated the Amundsen route to the South Pole.
The entire ALE team sends its deepest condolences to Henry’s wife, Joanna, children, Max and Alicia, and extended family at this very difficult time.
Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, with more than 25 years of experience, is the premier provider of land-based Antarctic experiences and logistical services. From its blue-ice runway and base camp at Union Glacier, guests can venture to the summit of Mount Vinson, fly to the South Pole, journey to an emperor penguin colony, or attempt an expedition in the spirit of early explorers. ALE also offers a full range of logistical services to support National Antarctic Programs and deep-field scientific research.