Canadian helicopter pilot dies after falling into crevasse in Antarctica

Wood was employed by a helicopter firm working with Australia’s Antarctic programme.

Davis Station, Antarctica, around 90 nautical miles from a remote ice shelf where a helicopter pilot fell down a crevasse.

“Mr. Wood was a respected colleague and friend to many in the Australian Antarctic program, with which he has been involved for a number of years”, the Australian Antarctic Division said in a statement announcing the death and sending condolences to his family.

Wood was rescued from the crevasse about three hours later and airlifted back to a medical facility with critical injuries.

A Canadian helicopter pilot is dead after falling into an icy crevasse, near an Australian research station in Antarctica Monday evening.

“Working in Antarctica is always very unsafe, especially in the remote field”, he told reporters in Hobart on Tuesday.

All national Antarctic programs work together to discern who is best equipped to tackle the situation when such incidents take place in Antarctica.

The pilot, who was winched out of the deep crack by specialist officers in a “difficult” rescue, had fallen in after stepping out of his helicopter on the West Ice Shelf at a fuel depot site.

“After disembarking from his aircraft, Mr. Wood fell into a crevasse”, the government said. Most applicants to positions on the continent have to undergo extensive medical examinations, and if they are badly injured or fall seriously ill, it can be a major ordeal to evacuate them to Australia or New Zealand for treatment. However, Mr. Gales could not confirm his age or nationality due to privacy.

He said Mr. Wood had received the best possible medical care from highly trained doctors at the base, supported by an “enormous” network of medical advice.


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