British Explorer Henry Worsley Dies While Trying to Cross Antarctic Alone

Prince William, left, with the explorer Henry Worsley at Kensington Palace in London in October. Mr. Worsley died after trying to cross the Antarctic alone and without support. (PHOTO CREDIT: Pool photo by John Stillwell)
Prince William, left, with the explorer Henry Worsley at Kensington Palace in London in October. Mr. Worsley died after trying to cross the Antarctic alone and without support. (PHOTO CREDIT: Pool photo by John Stillwell)

The British explorer Henry Worsley, who was trying to be the first person to cross the Antarctic alone and without support, died on Sunday, just 30 miles short of completing his 1,000-mile trek. He was 55.

His death was announced on the website for the expedition, Shackleton Solo, which chronicled Mr. Worsley’s effort to complete Sir Ernest Shackleton’s unfinished journey to cross the Antarctic, which left him and his team stranded in 1915.

Mr. Worsley, who had exhaustion and dehydration, had called for rescue on Day 71 of his journey. He was flown to Punta Arenas, a city in Chile’s southernmost region of Patagonia, the statement said.

He died “following complete organ failure,” said a statement from his wife, Joanna.

Mr. Worsley, who had served as a lieutenant colonel in the British Army and was a distant relative to Frank Worsley, the captain of Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, had published an online diary of his own expedition.

The images and captions detail his efforts in the days before his rescue to keep up his spirits despite hunger, adverse snow conditions and the solitude of his trek.

“Rise to fight again,” said the caption accompanying a photograph posted on Jan. 16 of Mr. Worsley flashing a faint smile, the bleak frozen landscape he would have to traverse visible in the background.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Christine Hauser