British explorer Henry Worsley has been pronounced dead on January 24 after attempting to cross the Antarctic without aid, in a legendary charity mission, inspired by Earnest Shackleton.
Suffering severe exhaustion and dehydration, the 55-year-old former British Army officer died after being airlifted to a hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Doctors discovered bacterial peritonitis (a bacterial infection in the abdomen) after Worsley had trekked nearly 900 miles without aid across the South Pole.
Worsley was attempting to complete British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s unsuccessful crossing of Antarctica in the early 1900s. During blizzard conditions, 71 days into his epic solo mission, and just 30 miles short of his goal, Worsley was forced to call for help Friday.
“Even after retiring from the Army, Henry continued to show selfless commitment to his fellow servicemen and women, by undertaking this extraordinary Shackleton solo expedition on their behalf.”
Worsley’s last statement sent from Antarctica reads: “The 71 days alone on the Antarctic with over 900 statute miles covered and a gradual grinding down of my physical endurance finally took its toll today, and it is with sadness that I report it is journey’s end — so close to my goal.”
“Henry achieved his Shackleton Solo goals: of raising over £100,000 ($142,000) for the Endeavour Fund, to help his wounded colleagues, and so nearly completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic landmass. A crossing made, under exceptionally difficult weather conditions, to mark the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition — his lifelong hero.”