Skip to comments.A rare, risky mission is underway to rescue sick scientists from the South Pole
Posted on 06/18/2016 11:38:16 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Two small bush planes are flying to the South Pole this week to evacuate workers at the Amundsen-Scott research station a feat rarely attempted during the middle of the Antarctic winter.
Kelly Falkner, the director of polar programs for the National Science Foundation (which runs the South Pole station), said that at least one seasonal employee for contractor Lockheed Martin requires medical treatment not available at the station and needs to be flown out. A second worker may also be rescued. Falkner couldn't provide further details about the medical motivation behind the rescues for privacy reasons.
"We try to balance our decisions with all of the risks involved," Falkner said. Other factors include the condition of the patients, the safety of the flight crew and the needs of the 48 people overwintering at Amundsen-Scott.
"It's a very serious decision that we take to move in this direction," she said.
Roughly 50 people overwinter at the Amundsen-Scott station each year, most of them employed by the NSF or lead contractor Lockheed Martin. They help maintain the station, oversee long-term monitoring of the atmosphere and climate change, conduct research on the early history of the universe via two radio telescopes, and observe the behavior of subatomic particles using at the station's IceCube Neutrino Observatory.
But evacuation efforts such as this are exceedingly uncommon only two have been undertaken in the 60 years since the South Pole research station opened. The brutal cold and total darkness that blankets Antarctica during the austral winter make flights in and out of the station all but impossible.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I think this also happened in 1999.
And twice in 2010.
Probably just didn’t get publicized the years in between.
Darling Norman was there
With Byrd at the Bottom of the World: The South Pole Expedition of 1928-1930 by Norman D. Vaughn, Cecil B. Murphey
Did it have something to do with a Husky dog appearing out of nowhere and chased by some foreigner shouting and shooting at it?
And here I thought global warming had already melted all ice. Isn’t it 2010 yet? Algor said so.
Here a documentary of what it is like there: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365929/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_18
I hope they are successful and the explorers will get the treatment they need.
God bless the flight crew and sick researchers who need to be evacuated. I could never in this lifetime even imagine ‘overwintering’ in Antarctica. Not sure I could handle their summer, either! It’s sure not on the bucket list, but we have to appreciate the people to heed that call, and the work they do. I’m wishing them a safe flight.
Holy cow. I hope that they can be rescued in time.
The 1999 evacuation was Dr. Jerri Nielsen who had breast cancer. Her book is a good read. Here’s a write up in her obit - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062403094.html
I think it was on Netflix that I recently watched a piece about wintering at the South Pole.
I’d definitely like to go from late spring to early fall. Come winter though, and I’d be out of there.
God Speed those rescuers efforts.
Gonna be very difficult if not impossible. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica occurred earlier in the week.
I remember a Russian doctor in similar circumstances at a Russian Antarctic station having to remove his own appendix using local anesthetic and mirrors
The brutal cold and total darkness that blankets Antarctica during the austral winter make flights in and out of the station all but impossible.”
I call BULLS^&%, With all the Global Warming going on, we KNOW there is NO ICE and the Planet is on Fire. Just ask AlGore,Bill Nye,James Hansen,Hillary,Obama,.....
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