Rescuers struggle to get Fiennes on final flight

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SEVERE weather continued to hamper rescuers’ attempts to evacuate the injured explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes from Antarctica last night as they raced to get him on the last flight out of the area.

The 68-year-old had been in training to lead the Coldest Journey expedition 2,500 miles across the polar region when he suffered severe frostbite while trying to fix a binding on his skis in temperatures of around -30C.

Last night a spokeswoman for the expedition said a Belgian scientific expedition team, based at Princess Elisabeth Station 45 miles away, was assisting with the evacuation.

Anton Bowring, co-leader of the Coldest Journey group, said he’d been told the explorer had suffered category-two frostbite in four fingers on his left hand.

The expedition spokeswoman said it was key that the explorer caught the flight, as it was the last flight leaving before the winter set in. She added that if Sir Ranulph was unable to catch it, the South African Maritime Safety Authority would try to carry out the evacuation.