BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 09:54 GMT
Briton's joy at polar record
Andrew Cooney
Andrew Cooney said he felt "totally elated"
A 23-year-old Briton has spoken by phone from the South Pole after becoming the youngest person to walk there.

Andrew Cooney, from Nottinghamshire, completed his gruelling 730-mile trek, just before 2000 GMT on Thursday.

By reaching the pole, Mr Cooney broke the record of 27-year-old Londoner Tom Avery who became the youngest Briton to get there just five days earlier.

Speaking via satellite phone from the bottom of the world on Friday morning, Mr Cooney said he felt "absolutely fantastic".

"We have been here for about 12 hours now.

"We have had a nice bit of food from our re-supply box. We have had a good night's sleep and it is just a fantastic experience to be here.

Youngest to the pole
Andrew Cooney
It was a very nice experience

Andrew Cooney
"I am totally elated."

When the six members of his expedition group, which was led by renowned woman explorer Matty McNair, reached the pole they were greeted by a crowd of people.

"There is a lot of activity here at the moment because the Americans are building a research station.

"When we arrived there was a good crowd of people who stopped work and came over to the pole to welcome us here.

"It was a very nice experience."

Shoulder injury

Mr Cooney, a Scout leader and Territorial Army lieutenant at Grantham in Lincolnshire, set off on the ice on 11 November with five other expedition members.

His task was made more difficult after he suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the trek which meant he had to start taking painkillers.

Andrew Cooney
Mr Cooney had to pull a 200 pound sled
He endured altitude sickness and battled through "white-out" snow storms while pulling a 200-pound sled with his injured shoulder.

The trek - which was in planning for four years - has taken Mr Cooney to an altitude of 9,000 feet with wind chill temperatures dropping as low as minus 52C.

His fellow expedition members are Graham Stonehouse, from London, and Spaniards Guillermo Banales and Angel Naves along with assistant guide Devon McDiarmid.

The Cooney family from Thurgarton in Nottinghamshire has been forced to plough 30,000 into the expedition after a sponsor withdrew at the last moment.

Andrew Cooney was hoping to raise 10,000 for research and support for oesophageal cancer, which his father contracted five years ago.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Catherine Marston reports
"The moment Andrew Cooney stepped into the record books"
  Andrew Cooney
"It is just a fantastic experience to be here"

Click here to go to Nottingham
See also:

02 Jan 03 | England
30 Dec 02 | England
28 Dec 02 | England
21 Oct 02 | England
07 Dec 01 | Science/Nature
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes