South Pole stroke victim awaits rescue

Oct. 11, 2011 at 12:56 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The manager of an antarctic research station who had a stroke says she's trapped at the facility, and authorities say it's too risky to send a plane for her.

Renee-Nicole Douceur, the manager of the Amundsen-Scott research station at the South Pole, suffered a stroke in August that has left her with impaired vision, ABC News reported Monday.

Raytheon Polar Services, which operates the station for the National Science Foundation, says it is too dark, cold and dangerous to send a plane for her, although they would try to get a flight into the station next week.

"During the winter period, extremely cold temperatures and high winds make an extraction dangerous for all involved, passengers as well as crew, and such an extraction is considered only in life-threatening conditions," Raytheon spokesman Jonathan Kasle said in a statement.

If a flight were able to reach the station, Douceur would be flown to New Zealand for tests and treatment.

"I am aware of the risk" of mounting a rescue flight, Douceur told ABC News Monday. "I would not, in extremely bad weather, jeopardize a crew of pilots to come and rescue me."

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