Henry Worsley dead: Explorer attempting to cross Antarctic dies on brink of history

The explorer was airlifted to hospital on Friday.

The explorer Henry Worsley has died while attempting a solo crossing across the Antarctic, his family has announced.

The 55-year-old former Army officer was trying to become the first adventurer to cross the continent on his own.

On Friday he was airlifted to hospital after suffering from exhaustion and dehydration 30 miles shy of the finish line. He was 71 days into his attempt to complete Sir Ernest Shackleton's unfinished expedition and had passed the South Pole, covering 913 miles.

His wife, Joanna, issued a statement saying: "It is with heartbroken sadness I let you know that my husband, Henry Worsley, has died following complete organ failure; despite all efforts of ALE and medical staff at the Clinica Magallanes in Punta Arenas, Chile."

Henry Worsley's final diary entry

She also praised her husband for his fundraising successes during the expedition, which totalled over £100,000 for the Endeavour Fund which supports injured service men and women.

"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.

"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."

Henry Worsley

The Endeavour Fund is managed by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prince Harry.

The Duke of Cambridge, a patron of the expedition paid tribute to Worsley.

"Harry and I are very sad to hear of the loss of Henry Worsley. He was a man who showed great courage and determination and we are incredibly proud to be associated with him.

"We have lost a friend, but he will remain a source of inspiration to us all, especially those who will benefit from his support to the Endeavour Fund.

"We will now make sure that his family receive the support they need at this terribly difficult time.

Worsley, from Fulham, south London is survived by his wife Joanna and two children.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.