Pilot injured after fall in Antarctic crevasse

January 13, 2016 10:30 am

 

The
pilot fell 20m into the crevasse after landing on a remote ice shelf
near Australia’s Davis station on Monday evening. Photo / iStock

A helicopter pilot is in a critical condition on an Australian
research station in Antarctica after falling down an icy crevasse and
laying injured for at least two hours.
The pilot fell 20m into the crevasse after landing on a remote ice shelf near Australia’s Davis station on Monday evening.
He was rescued by an emergency response team and flown to a medical facility at Davis station.
Australian
Antarctic Division director Nick Gales said yesterday that the pilot
was receiving the best possible medical care while the team assessed
whether he should be flown to Australia for intensive treatment.
The
division employed highly trained doctors at each research station which
were supported by an “enormous” network of medical advice.
“Working in Antarctica is always very dangerous, especially in the remote field,” he told reporters in Hobart.

“It is in the nature of the work that these incidents can happen.”
The
fall occurred when two helicopters were sling-loading fuel to a depot
on the West Ice Shelf, 90 nautical miles northeast of Davis station.
The two pilots had landed on the remote ice shelf after dropping the fuel drums at the depot site.
One
of the pilots fell down the crevasse after leaving his aircraft, while
the second pilot, unable to help, contacted Davis station and flew back
for help.
The injured pilot, who had “extensive” Antarctic
experience, remained down the crevasse for around two to three hours,
Gales said.
The division was preparing a runway at another research station in case medical evacuation to Australia was required.

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