Antarctic rescue bid launched for Gwent explorer Richard Parks
6:10pm Friday 25th January 2013 in News
RUGBY player-turned-adventurer Richard Parks will have to be rescued from Antarctica after being forced to abandon his solo trek to the South Pole just days from the end.
Letting his fans know via his online blog today, he tweeted simply "I simply have run out of time" #no regrets.
He is now waiting to be picked up from the wilderness sometime within the next 48 hours and taken back to the Antarctica's Union Glacier base camp.
The former Newport Gwent Dragons player was just 124 miles away from reaching his target and becoming the first Welsh person to complete the solo expedition.
But the toll of the mammoth task, which has seen him cover 605 miles in 39 days and 294 hours of skiing while carrying all his supplies, became too much.
With no time left due to starting the expedition late because of lost luggage, and his progress being hampered by horrific weather conditions, he could no longer make it to the pole by January 28 to get the last flight of the season.
In addition to that his physical state has taken a turn for the worse, he said his mouth is full of ulcers and his body is run down and admits he is weaker and lighter than he has ever been before, describing himself as "skin and bones".
He described his decision to throw in the towel as one of the hardest he has ever had to make.
He said: "Although I am gutted I am at peace because I know I have done everything I can in my control and it is the right decision.”
“During my keynote presentations that I do, I refer to how we can’t always control the cards that life deals us with...today I could have been having a beer celebrating possibly the second fastest solo coast to pole expedition of all time and a new British record. "However, we can’t always control the cards that life deals us with but we can control how we react. I’ve done everything that I can with integrity and safety to give myself the best chance. Simply, I have run out of time.”
After flying off the glacier Mr Parks will fly to Punta Arenas in Chile before making his way home in the coming weeks.