Polar explorer evacuated from North Pole ice-resistant platform for health reasons
© Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute

Polar explorer evacuated from North Pole ice-resistant platform for health reasons

One of the members of the North Pole-41 expedition had to be evacuated for health reasons. The patient is currently in a hospital in the city of Tromsø, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute press office reports.

“One of the polar explorers at the drifting station felt unwell in the early hours of June 6. The ship's doctor examined the patient thoroughly, including ultrasound imaging, diagnosed the problem and began treatment. However, the treatment did not lead to an improvement in the patient's condition. After consultation with doctors on the mainland and the AARI management, it was decided to evacuate the patient and deliver him to the hospital,” the AARI statement reads.

The institute contacted the Murmansk Maritime Rescue Coordination Center of the Maritime Rescue Service and explained the situation. The center chose the best option, which was to seek help from the rescue center of Norway’s Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC - North Norway) in Svalbard.

“After all the necessary approvals and consultations, the Norwegian side confirmed it was ready to transport the patient,” the source said.

A helicopter landed on the helipad of the North Pole platform in the evening of June 6. The patient was re-examined by the doctors who arrived, and they confirmed the need and possibility of evacuation. After refueling, the helicopter headed for Longyearbyen on the Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Archipelago with the patient on board. From there, he was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Tromsø.

“The patient has already been provided with all the necessary medical care at the hospital. He is in serious but stable condition, which is not life-threatening,” the institute said in a statement.

The evacuation operation was carried out in accordance with the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue and existing bilateral agreements between the Russian Federation and the Kingdom of Norway.