Explorers stranded by Iridium collapse

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The Independent Online

Six weeks ago, when Jo Le Guen began to row across the Pacific, he little thought his phone would soon become as useful as a brick.

The same probably applies to Rune Gjeldnes and Torry Larsen, who are trying to ski from Russia to Canada via the North Pole. Unfortunately, all three are using Iridium phones and last Saturday the company announced it will soon turn off its service after running up debts of £2.75bn.

Mr Le Guen said via his website that Iridium had been in touch but "didn't give ... any idea of how long the service would last." Meanwhile, a spokesman for the skiers said "they're prepared to be cut off. They're in a good mood."