Matt Gacek in this article

The Rescue of Dr. Ron Shemenski from the South Pole

April 2001




Thursday April 26, 2001

2:11 PM Mountain Time Zone

The two Twin Otter airplanes safely arrived in Punta Arenas at 3:55 PM EDT. On one plane were Captains Sean Loutitt and Mark Cary, Flight Engineer Norm Wong, and Dr. Ron Shemenski. On the other plane were Captains Matt Gacek and Tony Szekely, Flight Engineer Peter Brown, and Nurse Betty Erickson.

There will be a press conference held this evening at approximately 7:30 pm EDT at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos in Punta Arenas, Chile. Statements will be given by Tom Yelvington, RTSC Vice President and U.S. Antarctic Program Manager; Steve Dunbar, Field Science Support Manager, RPSC; and Captain Sean Loutitt of Kenn Borek Air, Ltd., Mission Pilot. Health permitting, Dr. Shemenski will also attend and give a statement.

All arrangements for interviews will be scheduled via the Media Hotline: 703.295.2300

10:35 AM Mountain Time Zone

The current estimated time of arrival in Punta Arenas is 3:40 pm EDT. A press conference will be held this evening in Punta Arenas shortly after the flight's arrival.

Please arrange all interview requests through our media hotline number: 703.295.2300

9:45 AM Mountain Time Zone

Both Twin Otter Airplanes, Nurse Betty Erickson, and Dr. Ron Shemenski departed Rothera Station, Antarctica, this morning at about 11:10 AM EDT. They will make the six hour trip to Punta Arenas, Chile, where they will spend the night.

At this time, it is unknown how long Dr. Shemenski will remain in Punta Arenas.

Media Hotline: 703.295.2300

Wednesday April 25, 2001

6:52 PM Mountain Time Zone

The Twin Otter carrying Dr. Ron Shemenski arrived at Rothera at 8:52 PM Eastern Time on April 25. The plan is to remain overnight at Rothera and, weather permitting, a departure on April 26 is expected. Both Twin Otters and crew, Betty Erickson (nurse), and Dr. Shemenski will fly to Punta Arenas, Chile. It is 920 statute miles from Rothera to Punta Arenas and this flight will take approximately 6 hours.

At this time, it is not known how long Dr. Shemenski will remain in Punta Arenas.

11:25 AM Mountain Time Zone

The Twin Otter left Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station with Dr. Ron Shemenski on board this afternoon at 12:47 PM EDT. The flight to Rothera is 1,553 miles and will take approximately 10 hours.

Tuesday April 24, 2001

6:00 PM Mountain Time Zone

The Kenn Borek Twin Otter plane carrying Dr. Betty Carlisle and 3 crew members has safely arrived at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It arrived at 8:02 PM EDT.

The crew will rest for 10 hours and, weather permitting, will return to Rothera Station, Antarctica tomorrow with Dr. Ron Shemenski on board.

3:15 PM Mountain Time Zone

The Twin Otter is continuing on its way to Pole with an expected arrival time of around 8:30 pm EDT. All is going well!

10:00 AM Mountain Time Zone

The two Kenn Borek Twin Otters that arrived in Punta Arenas on April 18, 2001, departed April 21, at 6:45 am EDT. They landed safely at Rothera the same day.

After spending Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights in Rothera, one plane departed for the South Pole with Dr. Shemenski's replacement (Dr. Betty Carlisle) today, April 24, at 10:34 am EDT. There are four on board the plane. They are: Pilots Sean Loutitt and Mark Cary, Flight Engineer Norm Wong, and Dr. Betty Carlisle. Once at the Pole, the Twin Otter crew will rest ten hours and, weather permitting, return to Rothera with Dr. Shemenski aboard.

At Rothera, the second plane will be waiting to fly Dr. Shemenski to Punta Arenas where he will board a commercial flight to the United States for medical treatment.

Contact Raytheon Polar Services
61 Inverness Drive East, Suite 300
Englewood, Colorado 80112
Phone: (303) 790-8606
FAX: (303) 790-9130

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