An Australian arctic adventurer came close to an icy death Friday when he fell through an ice sheet about 190 miles (300 km) from the North Pole, according to his blog.
Tom Smitheringale, on a bid to become the first Australian to trek to the North Pole unassisted, had to be rescued by Canadian authorities after setting off an emergency beacon, Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.
"Had a bad fall into the ice today and came very close to the grave," Smitheringale said in a post Friday on his blog. "Activated the epirb and luckily the Canadians were on military ops close by and i was off in 6hrs."
Jim Pizzey, a member of his support crew, told ABC that Smitheringale's use of the EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) could only mean one thing.
"We knew from the beginning that if his EPIRB ever went off it was serious, the satellite phone was for everything else and the EPIRB was for life-threatening [situations]," Pizzey told ABC.
"All's good and I'm getting the VIP rockstar treatment," Smitheringale said from a medical center in Alberta, Canada, ABC said. "Please advise everyone I'm okay and I'll be in contact soon."
"From what I have gathered he has level 3 frostbite of some of his digits and mild hypothermia. He's going to be OK," Pizzey said on the blog.
Earlier, the situation appeared grave, according to Pizzey, who updates Smitheringale's exploits on the blog.
"He appears to have fallen through the ice and has become hypothermic," Pizzey wrote.
Smitheringale was forced to end his quest through the arctic because of the incident.