Fundraising site crashes after death of Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley

Worsley died after being rescued only 30 miles from becoming the first person to complete an unsupported solo crossing of the Antarctic

Henry Worsley
Henry Worsley

The fundraising website for the Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley crashed twice because of overwhelming demand after his death on Sunday.

Worsley, who was 55, had been attempting to become the first person to complete an unsupported solo crossing of the Antarctic to raise money for the armed forces charity the Endeavour Fund.

He died after undergoing an operation for bacterial peritonitis in a hospital in Puntas Arenas, Chile, after being rescued just 30 miles from the end of his journey. He had completed 913 miles in 71 days.

The trip was being made to mark the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s failed Endurance expedition.

Since Worsley’s death, almost £80,000 has been raised through his website, taking the total raised through the expedition to more than £186,000 at noon on Tuesday – far exceeding the original £100,000 target.

The influx of traffic to the website caused it to crash on Monday and again on Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman for the charity said.

In a statement after his death, Worsley’s wife, Joanna, said: "Henry achieved his Shackleton Solo goals: of raising over £100,000 for the Endeavour Fund, to help his wounded colleagues and so nearly completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic landmass. A crossing made, under exceptionally difficult weather conditions, to mark the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition – his lifelong hero.

"On behalf of myself and family I wish to thank the many hundreds of you who have shown unfailing support to Henry throughout his courageous final challenge and great generosity to the Endeavour Fund."

Harry Holt, chair of the Endeavour Fund, said: "We are devastated by the loss of Henry Worsley. The Endeavour Fund is very proud to have been associated with Henry's tremendous achievements, but we mourn his sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends in this dark hour."

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