Polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer dies on expedition | Polarjournal
Dixie Dansercoer, stock photo from 2008. (Photo: Belga/Belgica Expedition)

Renowned Belgian polar explorer and adventurer Dixie Dansercoer (58) died on Monday evening while on an expedition in Greenland, several media outlets confirmed. Last month, Dansercoer set off on an expedition to Greenland with Canadian Sébastien Audy and Dutchwoman Johanna Adriana Simone Maria.

“Dixie fell into a deep crevasse last night. A rescue operation was launched, but unfortunately it was too late. We have received confirmation of this from Greenland,” Stefan Maes, who handled Dansercoer’s press relations, told Belgian newspaper ‘De Standaard’ on Tuesday. His partner Sébastien Audy was uninjured but is in shock. He alerted the emergency services, but as the area is very remote, it was a difficult operation, according to local media.

According to Greenland Police, the emergency call came in at 5 p.m. Monday, June 7, 2021. A helicopter with firefighters and a climber were sent to the scene of the accident. The climber found the sled of Dixie Dansercoe at a depth of 25 meters. As the crevasse led far down into the depths and after a further 15 metres of descent still no trace of the Belgian polar explorer could be found, the search was ended and Dixie Dansercoe was declared dead, the police wrote in a press release to the Greenlandic media.

The aim of the expedition of Dixie Dansercoe, Sébastien Audy and Johanna Adriana Simone Maria was to cross the Greenland Ice Sheet from south to north. The starting point is the town of Narsarsuaq and the destination is the town of Qaanaaq (Thule) in the north of Greenland. The accident happened near Kullorsuaq, near Upernavik. Map: Michael Wenger via Google Earth

The goal of the explorers was to cross the Greenland ice from Narsarsuaq to Qaanaaq, a journey of about 2,200 kilometres, which they planned to cover with snowkites.

During the trip, scientific research on climate change was conducted, but the focus was also on sporting challenges in an extreme environment, various media reported. The crossing should take about 30 to 35 days. The adventurers kept a blog and shared photos of their trip on Instagram. The last report on the Polar Experience website was posted on Monday, June 7, when the trio had reached the 31st day of their mission and still had 443 kilometers to go to reach their destination.

Meanwhile, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo offered condolences to Dansercoer’s family and friends, describing him as a “boundless adventurer and climate advocate.”

Source: Various Belgian media / Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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