Video: Leeds adventurer in Antarctic fall drama

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This is the moment naval officer Rob Tristram realised he is lucky to be alive.

The 29-year-old, from Roundhay, Leeds, had just fallen into a 70ft crevasse after stepping on to a “snow bridge” that made the gaping glacial hole invisible.

Rob Tristram.

Rob Tristram.

Training kicked in, and Rob, who is currently in the Antarctic on an Armed Forces expedition, secured himself and made a 30 second film about his experience while he waited to be dug out.

He said to camera, which has since been posted on YouTube: “Just had a slight mishap. I have fallen down a crevasse.

“It’s about 70ft, but luckily, I don’t know how, I am okay.

“My right arm’s hurting a bit but it’s still functional. The guys up there are getting a belay for me now, digging out, but I am down here now.

“I have got my high screw in but unfortunately I can’t get to my other pole, it looks like I’m doing the rest of the trip poleless, and my pulk’s up there above my head.

“Otherwise I feel very lucky, quite fancy getting back to base camp now.”

Rob, who went to Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, is on a two-month scientific exploration of some of the remotest parts of the Antarctic Peninsula. He was one of just 24 officers picked for the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 (BSAE), and has had to complete two years of training.

Together the officers are investigating climate change and attempting to ‘summit’, as yet, unconquered mountains.

Rob’s mum Jan Coates, 62, who lives in Chapel Allerton, said: “When I found out what he had achieved just getting on the expedition I was very proud. I still am, but I am also having many a sleepless night.

“It’s been amazing following their progress on the blogs, and watching the video clips.

“But this one was very hard to watch. He is very lucky to have survived.”

She added: “David Attenborough posted on their blog that this was going to be perilous. He’s not wrong.”

Visit: www.bsae2012.co.uk

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