A helicopter pilot has been rescued from a crevasse in Antarctica

Image: Australian Antarctic Division

An expeditioner working with Australia’s Antarctic program has been rescued after falling 20 metres into a crevasse on a remote ice shelf.

The helicopter pilot is in a critical condition at Australia’s Davis station, according to the Australian Antarctic Division.

The incident happened late last night when two helicopters were loading fuel to a depot on the West Ice Shelf about 90 nautical miles north east of Davis station.

The pilots had landed at the remote ice shelf site after dropping the fuel drums at a depot.

But one of the pilots fell into a crevasse. The second pilot couldn’t get him out so he flew back to Davis station for help.

New Aerospatiale AS 350 B3e helicopter slingloading from ship to shore. Photo: Australian Antarctic Division Director, Dr Nick Gales/ Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston Tasmania Australia.

The injured pilot had to wait almost two hours for help.

The pilot was named as Canadian David Wood, aged 62. He is an employee of Helicopter Resources working with the Australian Antarctic program at Davis station.

He is now at the Antarctic Division’s medical facility at Davis station in a critical condition. Details of the injuries haven’t been released.

Australian authorities are looking at options for a medical evacuation by air. The landing strip is being prepared for possible use and will be ready tomorrow afternoon at the earliest.

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