The well-known Belgian polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer (58) died on Monday evening during an expedition in Greenland, it was confirmed to several media.
Last month, Dansercoer set off on an expedition to Greenland, together with the Canadian Sébastien Audy and the Dutch Johanna Adriana Simone Maria.
"Dixie fell into a deep crevasse last night. A rescue operation was launched, but unfortunately it was too late. We have received confirmation of this from Greenland," Stefan Maes, who looked after Dansercoer's press relations, told De Standaard.
His partner Sébastien Audy was unharmed, but is in shock. He alerted the emergency services, but because the area is so remote, it was a difficult operation, according to local media.
The explorers' aim was to cross the Greenland ice, from Narsarsuaq to Qaanaaq, a journey of some 2,200 kilometres, which they would make with snow kites.
During the trip, scientific research into climate change was carried out, but sporting challenges in an extreme environment were a focus as well, reports VRT.
The trip was planned to take around 30 to 35 days, and the explorers kept a blog and shared photos of their trip on Instagram. The last report on the Polar Experience website was made on Monday 7 June, when the trio had reached day 31 of their mission, and still had 443 kilometres to cover to reach their destination.
In the meantime, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted his condolences to Dansercoer's family and friends, describing him as a "limitless adventurer and climate advocate."
Afscheid van poolreiziger @DixieDansercoer. Grensverleggend avonturier en klimaatverbeteraar. Veel sterkte aan familie en vrienden.
— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) June 8, 2021