British explorer dies after collapsing from exhaustion during attempt to cross Antarctica

Henry Worsley was less than 50 km from completing his crossing when he raised the alert

british, explorer, exhaustion, dehydration, Antarctica

Henry Worsley. Image: John Stillwell / PA Wire/Press Association Images

British explorer Henry Worsley has died after collapsing from exhaustion 30 miles (less than 50 km) short of completing a crossing of Antarctica.

The 55-year-old was attempting to recreate the majority of Sir Ernest Shackleton's unfinished journey to the South Pole and become the first adventurer to cross the continent - unsupported.

He was 71 days into the charity challenge - battling temperatures of -44C - when he called for help and had to be airlifted off the treacherous ice to a hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile.

The former Army officer's wife, Joanna, said she was "heartbroken".

"It is with heartbroken sadness I let you know that my husband, Henry Worsley, has died following complete organ failure; despite all efforts of ALE and medical staff at the Clinica Magallanes in Punta Arenas, Chile," she said in a statement.

The ex-lieutenant colonel had covered 913 miles and passed the South Pole as part of the charity trek when he began to suffer from severe dehydration and exhaustion and decided to stop and raised the alert.

He underwent surgery at the Chilean hospital after he was found to have bacterial peritonitis, but died on Sunday.

The explorer had already raised £100,000 (more than €130,000) to help wounded servicemen and women.

"Henry achieved his Shackleton Solo goals: of raising over #100,000 for the Endeavour Fund, to help his wounded colleagues, and so nearly completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic landmass," his wife said.