Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley dies short of goal

  • 26/01/2016
Henry Worsley (Twitter / Shackleton Solo)
Henry Worsley (Twitter / Shackleton Solo)

A descendant of one of New Zealand's Antarctic pioneers has died while trying to become the first person to cross the continent unaided.

Former British army officer Henry Worsley, 55, was rescued just 48km short of his goal on the Ross Ice Shelf 71 days into his 1600km trek, but died in a hospital in Chile on Sunday.

He was suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and bacterial peritonitis and he died when his organs failed despite the efforts of medical staff, his wife Joanna says.

Worsley was trying to retrace the steps of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-17 Trans-Antarctic expedition. The failed project became famous for Shackleton's remarkable story of survival in reaching South Georgia and no one losing their life.

Worsley was a descendant of Frank Worsley, the New Zealander who was captain of Shackleton's Endurance and who navigated a small boat to the Atlantic island where a resuce mission was launched to save the rest of the expedition party.