We are devastated by the news that Henry Worsley died on January 24, 2016 in hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Henry undertook his solo expedition in the spirit of his idol Sir Ernest Shackleton and was fulfilling his dream of crossing the Antarctic continent. After walking 913 statute miles unsupported and unassisted, battling extreme weather conditions, Henry made the brave decision, in Shackleton’s words, to “shoot the bolt”, 30 miles short of his ultimate goal.
When Henry was picked up by Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE), he was suffering from exhaustion and dehydration. He was flown to a hospital in Punta Arenas where he was found to have bacterial peritonitis. This resulted in Henry undergoing surgery but despite best efforts, he succumbed.
Henry leaves behind his wife Joanna and children Max and Alicia. The family ask for privacy at this difficult time. Joanna has given the following statement:
‘“It is with heartbroken sadness I let you know that my husband Henry Worsley has died following complete organ failure; despite all efforts of ALE and medical staff at the Clinica Magallanes in Punta Arenas, Chile.
Henry achieved his Shackleton Solo goals: of raising over £100,000 for the Endeavour Fund, to help his wounded colleagues, and so nearly completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic landmass. A crossing made, under exceptionally difficult weather conditions, to mark the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition – his lifelong hero.
On behalf of myself and family I wish to thank the many hundreds of you who have shown unfailing support to Henry throughout his courageous final challenge and great generosity to the Endeavour Fund. Donations now total over £106,773.”
The Duke of Cambridge, Patron of the Shackleton Solo Expedition, said: “Harry and I are very sad to hear of the loss of Henry Worsley. He was a man who showed great courage and determination and we are incredibly proud to be associated with him.
“Even after retiring from the Army, Henry continued to show selfless commitment to his fellow servicemen and women, by undertaking this extraordinary Shackleton solo expedition on their behalf.
“We have lost a friend, but he will remain a source of inspiration to us all, especially those who will benefit from his support to the Endeavour Fund.”
Harry Holt, Chairman of the Endeavour Fund and a close personal friend of Henry’s having served with him for several years in the British Army said: “We are devastated by the loss of Henry Worsley. The Endeavour Fund is very proud to have been associated with Henry’s tremendous achievements but we mourn his sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this dark hour.”
In his last statement sent from Antarctica, Henry articulated why he had set out across the ice and in doing so, demonstrated his own values of selfless commitment and courage:
“I set out on this journey to attempt the first solo unsupported crossing of the Antarctic landmass, a feat of endurance never before achieved. But more importantly, to raise support for The Endeavour Fund, to assist wounded soldiers in their rehabilitation. Having been a career soldier for 36 years and recently retired, it has been a way of giving back to those far less fortunate than me.
The 71 days alone on the Antarctic with over 900 statute miles covered and a gradual grinding down of my physical endurance finally took its toll today, and it is with sadness that I report it is journey’s end – so close to my goal.”
Find out more about Henry’s goals and the Shackleton Solo at: www.shackletonsolo.org