A team of four intrepid adventurers had to be rescued from an Icelandic glacier after one of them fell ill.
Led by Mike Dann, 35, of Longwood, the team was forced to abort the fundraising trek across Europe’s largest icecap.
Mike, Paralympian ski champion Sean Rose, 42, Kieron Jansch, also 42, and Max Smith, 49, were attempting to snow-kite 185 miles across the Vatnajökull glacier.
The expedition, called 4People6Legs, was part of a bid to raise thousands of pounds for the Wings of Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation.
The team was three days in and a third of the way across when former soldier Sean – paralysed from the waist down – was struck with a bladder infection.
The team pitched camp for a time hoping Sean would recover but the infection took hold and Mike was forced to call in the emergency services.
Search and rescue teams then battled for hours through blinding snow to reach them and rush Sean to hospital.
The dramatic rescue happened earlier this month and Mike returned to Huddersfield on Monday night.
Property developer Mike, an experienced adventurer, told how the expedition ended when Sean was taken ill.
“We were three days in and all was going well – we were probably two days from the finish – when Sean said he didn’t feel too good,” said Mike.
“We decided to pitch camp and hoped to crack on the next day but in the morning he was feeling a bit worse.
“We took advice from a doctor and decided to stay on but then Sean’s condition worsened and he ran a temperature, his pulse went up to 136, he was shaking and had muscle pain.
“Within half-an-hour from feeling all right he became pretty ill.”
Mike raised the alarm but it was some time before they could be plucked to safety.
Rescue teams from two different towns set out, one having to turn back after a skidoo accident.
A helicopter couldn’t land because of snow and poor visibility and it took ‘super 4x4s’ with 48-inch wheels and studs on the tyres to battle through the conditions.
Mike carried Sean to the waiting rescue vehicles and he was put on an intravenous drip.
Sean spent two days in hospital and has now fully recovered.
Mike said: “It was a shame it had to end like that because Sean was probably the best kiter of us all and we had done the hardest part. We were on the flat and it would have been plain sailing from that point.
“We had done all the planning and preparation but illness is something you can’t legislate for.”
The team has raised £12,500 so far and will return next month for more training ahead of another crack next April.
“That’s the best time so we will wait and try again,” said Mike. “We have unfinished business.”
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