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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 20:05 GMT
No sign of solo polar trekker
Finnish-French adventurer Dominick Arduin (recent file photo)
Arduin: Experienced adventurer
Rescuers searching for a woman who went missing five days ago on a solo trek to the North Pole have so far failed to find any trace of her.

French-born Dominick Arduin has not been heard of since Saturday. She set out from northern Russia a day earlier on the 1,000km (620 mile) trip.

But although nothing has been found, the search is being suspended.

One of support team said they supposed Ms Arduin was still on the move, but having communications problems.

"They have found absolutely nothing. But it's better news than finding Dominick dead or part of her equipment," Bernard Buigues told the French news agency AFP.

Mr Buigues, whose firm provides logistics services for the expedition and organised the search, said a re-supply aircraft would set out next week, as planned.

If no signs of Ms Arduin were found then, the search might be relaunched, he said.

'Tough lady'

Search efforts were launched on Tuesday, but stalled on Wednesday due to severe storms.

The last time Ms Arduin spoke to anyone was on Friday - although she had planned to make daily contact by satellite phone.

The only indication of her whereabouts came on Saturday, when a weak signal was picked up from a satellite beacon pinpointing her location as 25km north of her starting point.

Ms Arduin was born in France, but now has Finnish citizenship after living in Lapland for the past 15 years.

Last year, in a previous attempt to reach the North Pole, she fell into freezing water and had to have her toes amputated after suffering frostbite.

She began her latest expedition by rowing across a 55km stretch of the Arctic Ocean to reach firm ice.

From there, she planned to continue on skis.

"She is a tough lady, and if anybody is able to survive and beat the problems, she is the one," Reijo Hietanen, a spokeswoman for Ms Arduin, told AFP.


SEE ALSO:
Fears grow for Arctic adventurer
09 Mar 04  |  Europe
Scientists rescued from ice floe
06 Mar 04  |  Europe
Second woman finishes Pole trek
13 Jan 04  |  London


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