British man dies on Greenland ice trek and two left 'critically ill' after snow and ice storm lashes adventurers

 

A British man has died after getting caught up in a severe snow storm during a trip of a lifetime to Greenland.

Philip Goodeve-Docker, 37, who had described the expedition as one of the "great polar challenges", was crossing the Greenland ice cap with two friends when they became trapped in the sudden storm.

It took around 30 hours for emergency teams to be able to reach them and airlift them to safety but Mr Goodeve-Docker died before their arrival.

The events manager, from London, was on the unsupported crossing with experienced expedition leader Roan Hackney and Andy Norman, a former IT professional, who both remain in a "critical condition" in hospital, according to Mr Goodeve-Docker's brother, Mark.

On his JustGiving page Mr Goodeve-Docker wrote of the dangers he would face travelling across one of the most "deadly landscapes in the world".

He said the challenge across the world's second largest ice cap from east to west would take 30 to 35 days.

"We will travel 550-600km across one of the most dazzling, beautiful, yet barren and deadly landscapes in the world, dragging all our own supplies (between 100-135kg) on individual pulks (sleds)," he said.

"This is one of the great polar challenges, through which we face such dangers as polar bears (not cute and cuddly), crevasses up to 500+ metres deep, polar winds, temperatures of 5C to -50C, plus the horror of 3 men with one tent & no washing."

On a Facebook page set up specially for the expedition, a post said the team had began the trek on April 25.

It was followed by another message posted yesterday, which read: "The Expedition has been cancelled due to severe weather - Andy shall update on his return."

On Mr Goodeve-Docker's own Facebook page, his family said: "We wanted to let everyone know that on Sunday morning we had a phone call to confirm that Philip sadly died.

"To our son, brother and friend, we are so glad that you were on your adventure and expedition that you had wanted to do for so long. You will be unbelievably missed and your memory cherished. xx"

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said they were alerted to the situation on Sunday.

"We are aware that British nationals were in difficulty during an expedition in Greenland and have been rescued by the authorities," she said.

"Sadly one of the men, Philip Goodeve-Docker, died.

"The two other British nationals are in hospital.

"We are providing consular assistance to their families at this time."

Mr Goodeve-Docker had raised more than £5,000 for the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) in carrying out the trip, which he dedicated to the memory of his grandfather who died two years ago.

This morning donations rose to more than £6,000 on his JustGiving page as people paid tribute to the adventurer.

One wrote: "Would have paid any money to have you back my friend still can't believe you are gone. rest in peace hope to see you again one day."

Another wrote: "In memory, you made a difference and lived large!!"

QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said: "Our thoughts today are with Philip's family.

"Philip died doing something that he had always dreamed of, undertaking a great challenge while helping others at the same time.

"Staff and trustees at the QNI are very shocked and saddened by this tragic loss but also immensely proud of him and his bravery.

"It is the charity's intention not to let this tragic loss of life pass without creating a suitable and enduring memorial to Philip."

Dozens of tributes were also left on his Facebook page.

Greg Ware wrote: "Phil was one of the nicest, friendliest, funniest and most gunuine human beings i have had the pleasure of knowing. No matter how bad things were going he would always be able to put a smile on his face and make a joke of the situation and make everyone around him feel happy. his never say never attitude and determination to succeed made him someone everyone wanted to know."

While another message, from Abbey Bloom, said: "His energy, lust for life & enthusiasm are something that will always stay with me. When you were in his company almost anything felt possible. Rest in peace, Phil. You were a real gentleman, a lovely person & it was a total joy to have got to know you over these passed few years."

Before leaving for Greenland, Mr Goodeve-Docker wrote on his JustGiving page: "On the 19th April 2013 (having left on the 16th April) I will be in Greenland preparing to cross the 2nd largest icecap in world.

"For the next 30-35 days a 3 man team, including myself, fellow adventurer Andy Norman, and led by my polar explorer friend Roan Hackney, will attempt to cross Greenland's icesheet unsupported (http://www.greenlandcrossing2013.com).

"Part of my reasons for this frankly nutty adventure is my Grandfather, Patrick Pirie-Gordon, who passed away two years ago.

"Amongst his achievements were his key roles as Treasurer and Honorary Vice-President for the Royal Geographical Society, helping fund polar exploration, and Treasurer for the QNI. He was intensely passionate about both these institutions.

"It gave me added incentive to say yes to the expedition and, because of their fantastic work in nursing & helping those in need at home, to do my part for QNI. They really do fantastic work.

"So please dig deep and donate now. All the support will be great incentive to come back in one piece! :) I'm going back outside to stumble around with tyres again..wish me luck!"

On his website about the expedition, Mr Norman said Mr Goodeve-Docker was "completely new to the Arctic and indeed this adventure lark" but had been "training furiously".

He added that they were being supported and monitored during the trip from the UK, managed by a world leader in Greenland expeditions.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own