26 Jan 2012

Norwegian's South Pole trip would be 'crazy'

10:27 pm on 26 January 2012

The sister of a crew member who died during a Norwegian man's unauthorised expedition to the South Pole last year says it's "absolutely diabolical" the adventurer may be attempting another illegal trip.

Jarle Andhoy, 34, made the journey to Antarctica in February 2011 with another Norwegian, Samuel Massie, 18, to attempt to reach the South Pole by quad bike, retracing the steps of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

The attempt ended with his support boat Berserk sinking in McMurdo Sound, with the loss of three crew members. Despite a massive search and rescue mission only a lifeboat was found.

It is believed Mr Andhoy set sail on the yacht Nilaya from Auckland on Monday and that he may make another attempt on the South Pole.

Among those who died on the support vessel was Leonard Banks, whose twin sister, Charlene Banks, told Morning Report her family is devasted at the news Mr Andhoy may be trying again.

"He's definitely not well prepared at all," she said. "He leaves everything to the last minute, he hasn't got any of the authorities' go-ahead on any of this." Ms Banks said a South Pole trip would be "crazy" after what happened last year.

Norwegian authorities say Mr Andhoy does not have the correct permits for the trip, as was the case last time.

Experienced yachtsman Don McIntyre, who sails to the Antarctic every year, says it might take the Nilaya about 12 days to reach the edge of the Antarctic Treaty Zone.

He says conditions are difficult from there on as the Ross Sea is blocked by pack ice and a yacht would struggle to penetrate it.

The manager of operations at Antarctica New Zealand, Ian Miller, says the search in 2011 put staff at Scott Base at risk and caused damage to a Navy patrol ship. He says it is extremely annoying that Mr Andhoy may be attempting another illegal expedition.