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Famous British polar explorer marooned in Siberian Arctic after helicopter crash

By The Siberian Times reporter
28 February 2018

Mi-8 delivered Hannah McKeand and Canadian companion to remote island weather station but crashed soon after, as pair abandon North Pole attempt.

Hannah McKeand stuck at the meteorological station on the Golomyanny island.

The well known polar adventurer has abandoned an attempt to reach the North Pole partly by boat from remote Golomyanny Island in the Kara Sea. 

The reasons she and Canadian Dongsheng Liu halted their 900 km attempt this year - called Hannah and Dong's North Pole Expedition 2018 - are unclear.

In one of several brief Facebook postings this week, the 44 year old adventurer said that they remained on the island, adding: 'There have been some complication.

Hannah and Dongsheng


Dongsheng Liu


Packing

Hannah and Canadian Dongsheng Liu were going to reach the North Pole. Pictures: Hannah McKeand

'Living here is an adventure though. 

'Huge polar bear around the house last night, looking in the windows.'

In another posting 26 February: 'Our expedition will not proceed this year and we are awaiting an exit opportunity.'

She arrived at the island on Saturday and soon afterwards the helicopter that transported the pair was wrecked in a serious crash on Cape Arctic. 

Roman Teleshun

Roman Teleshun, from the Krasnoyarsk mayor’s office, said he had received an urgent satellite call from the British explorer.

Four others who earlier had been with the UK explorer were on board and all miraculously survived uninjured.

A crew member from the KrasAvia Mi-8 needed hospital treatment after the helicopter crashed after its tail hit an obstacle as it landed at Cape Arctic.

Its blades were ripped off and there was extensive damage to the Mi-8.

She posted: 'Dong and I were not on board and all six people on board survived and were successfully evacuated.'

Miracle escape for five in Arctic as Mi-8 makes emergency landing 


Miracle escape for five in Arctic as Mi-8 makes emergency landing 


Miracle escape for five in Arctic as Mi-8 makes emergency landing 


Miracle escape for five in Arctic as Mi-8 makes emergency landing 


Miracle escape for five in Arctic as Mi-8 makes emergency landing 

Mi-8 helicopter crashed after its tail hit an obstacle as it landed at Cape Arctic

Today the authorities in Krasnoyarsk said she has been seeking to get off the island.

Roman Teleshun, from the Krasnoyarsk mayor’s office, said he had received an urgent satellite call from the British explorer from the meteorological station on the remote island.

He said: 'She called from the satellite phone, it worked only from some point where she went out. The connection was, in fact, terrible, barely understood what she was saying.' 

Golomyanny


Golomyanny


Golomyanny weather station

Golomyanny island and weather station on it. Pictures: Polar Post

It is not clear where there other four 'tourists' are from, whether they were Russian or foreign, or where they are now.

Ms McKeand has skied more times to the South Pole than anyone in history and formerly held the record for the fastest solo and unsupported ski from the Antarctica coast to the South Pole. 

She said of the crash: 'We are very very relieved that everyone involved is going to be ok.'

The authorities hope to evacuate the pair by helicopter on Thursday.

Comments (5)

I met her this year in the mountains of northern Lappland and i think she is a famous explorer ;-)
Peter, Varnhem
28/03/2018 15:56
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I am not sure what you know about polar explorers, Cody. But to those who know, Hannah is a legend. Enough said.
Sebastian, Los Angeles
16/03/2018 01:58
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Quoted from the web,"Hannah McKeand is an English polar explorer. In 2006 she set the record for the fastest journey (man or woman) to the South Pole a 600-nautical-mile journey she completed solo and in just 39 days, 9 hours and 33 minutes.She also skied to the South Pole more times than anyone in history.In March 2008 she attempted to reach the North Pole alone and unsupported but had to abandon the trip after falling through the ice and badly damaging her shoulder and back. McKeand is a public speaker and polar consultant." unquote.
Doc, US
15/03/2018 16:25
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_McKeand
Maybe Cody isn't a reference. Met Hannah in Norway 2 years ago. Powerful woman!
Jaerven, Stockholm/Sweden
12/03/2018 16:10
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That woman is NOT a famous explorer. I never heard of her and I doubt anyone else has.
Cody , USA
09/03/2018 04:27
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