09.21.05, 04:03 AM #1
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Commandos join Antarctic rescue mission
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Four army commandos on skis dropped by helicopter Tuesday onto an Antarctic glacier to search for two Argentine men who plunged into a deep ice crevasse in a weekend snowmobiling accident.
Lt. Col. Carlos Flesia said the helicopters also airlifted in ropes, ice anchors and other gear the rescuers from an elite Antarctic Commando unit planned to use in the difficult descent into the 180-foot-deep crack.
"The rescue units were dropped off in an area of solid rocks," said Flesia at Argentina's Antarctica command center in Buenos Aires. He said the four-man team would spend the few remaining hours of sunlight Tuesday trying to ski the 1,500 yards to the crevasse and rappel into the depths.
More than 70 hours had elapsed since the accident, and the unit was working in blustery subzero conditions on the last day of the southern hemisphere winter.
Authorities said the missing men were wearing extreme weather gear and were equipped with radios, but had not been heard from since the accident, and hopes were fading of pulling them out alive.
The missing men were identified as scientific researcher Augusto Thibaud of the Argentine Antarctic Institute and Teofilo Gonzalez, a navy officer and electrician.
Their snowmobile plunged into the crevasse on Saturday while on an expedition near Argentina's Jubany research station.
Three other men traveling on snowmobiles behind them were rescued Sunday, airlifted out by a Chilean helicopter from 25 de Mayo island, located near the Antarctic peninsula where several countries have bases and scientific research stations.
Last edited by voivod; 09.21.05 at 04:04 AM."Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton
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