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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 May, 2003, 07:12 GMT 08:12 UK
Explorer has one day of rations left
Pen Hadow
The only communication with Pen Hadow now is his signal beacon
British polar hero Pen Hadow remains stranded at the North Pole by bad weather with only one day of food reserves left.

The 41-year-old explorer has now spent a week in a tent on floating ice with a plane on standby for a break in the weather to pick him up.

The aircraft tried to reach Mr Hadow on Saturday but the cloud was too thick and the ice too broken up for the plane to land at a refuelling stop.

Mr Hadow, who lives on Dartmoor, reached the geographic North Pole a week ago after a 478-mile trek, becoming the first person to reach it unsupported from Canada.

I think he could last a good long time
Dr Charles Swithinbank

The plan is now to lighten the plane and add extra fuel tanks so it can reach Mr Hadow without refuelling.

If the plane cannot land, Mr Hadow's team will consider dropping food supplies until the weather improves.

He has been waiting in temperatures of about -7C and living on half rations of nuts, chocolate and dried fruit.

"People can survive quite a long time on water but I think he will have been thinning out his rations," polar expert Dr Charles Swithinbank told the BBC.

"I don't think he'll be eating nothing.

"I think he could last a good long time.

Pen Hadow's route

"He has drifted away from the North Pole, he's now something like 30 miles away, but he has a satellite beacon so the aircraft will be able to locate him when the weather is good enough."

His wife Mary, 43, said there was no concern for her husband, who knew this could be a problem and made plans for it.

She stressed that, at the moment, he does not need to be rescued.

"The weather at the Pole is often like this at this time of the year and Pen made a contingency plan," she said.

"He is in far less danger than at any time in the last two months."

No human contact

The explorer has now spent over two months on the ice after completing the 478-mile marathon walk.

His satellite phone is now dead and the only communication is his signal beacon which has told his team he is fine.

The explorer - with no human contact since March 17 - has prepared a landing strip on the ice using a flare and his remaining ski.

He lost the other one after falling through thin ice on April 30.

Mr Hadow has two children, Wilf, four, and one-year-old Freya, both named after explorers, who are looking forward to a reunion with him.




SEE ALSO:
Explorer sets new polar record
20 May 03  |  Devon
My 'invincible' husband
19 May 03  |  Devon
Goss unveils polar mission
16 May 03  |  England


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