Explorer Henry Worsley has died after developing a serious infection as he tried to cross Antarctica unaided. The ex-Army officer, from London, had been rescued 30 miles shy of his goal. His wife Joanna said she felt “heartbroken sadness” after he died of “complete organ failure”.
Mr Worsley, 55, was trying to complete the unfinished journey of his hero, Sir Ernest Shackleton, 100 years later, but in his final audio message, he said: “My summit is just out of reach.” In that last broadcast, sent from Antarctica on Friday, he told supporters: “When my hero, Ernest Shackleton, was 97 miles from the South Pole on the morning of January the 9th 1909, he said he’d shot his bolt. “Well today I have to inform you with some sadness that I too have shot my bolt.” Mr Worsley said his journey had ended because he did not have the ability to “slide one ski in front of the other”. “I will lick my wounds, they will heal over time and I will come to terms with the disappointment,” he added.
Mr Worsley was airlifted off the ice on Saturday, on day 71 and 913 miles (1,469km) into his trek. Initially, it was thought he was dehydrated and malnourished. It was only discovered he was suffering from a serious infection – bacterial peritonitis – when he was treated at Union Glacier base camp. He was then flown to a hospital in Punta Arena, Chile, to undergo surgery but died on Sunday.