LONDON, England -- Two Britons have been rescued from the icy waters
of the Antarctic after their helicopter ditched into the sea.
The Chilean authorities organised the rescue of Steve
Brooks, 42, and Quentin Smith, 40, both from London, on Monday.
The rescue operation was launched after Brooks managed
to telephone his wife Jo from a satellite phone to tell her they
had been forced to launch an emergency dinghy into the sea.
He was one of two British explorers who last year
laid claim to being the first to drive across the treacherous Bering
Strait from the North American continent to Siberia.
This was despite being refused permission to enter
Smith, a world champion freestyle helicopter pilot
who has flown twice around the globe, provided helicopter support
on the same expedition.
A spokeswoman for Brooks told the UK Press Association
that the men had been on their way from Chile to the Antarctica
region when they were forced to ditch the helicopter into the sea.
The British Royal Navy survey vessel HMS Endurance,
which was in the area, had dispatched a Lynx helicopter in case
it was needed for a rescue operation.
The HMS Endurance, an ice breaker, has been surveying
uncharted waters in Antarctica.
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