- The Italia expedition -

Amundsen ready to join the search


Aviators prepare for reconnaissance flights. Fridtjof Nansen to help with strategic planning of the rescue missions

Aviators prepare for reconnaissance flights. Fridtjof Nansen to help with strategic planning of the rescue missions.

Reuter reports that Captain Riiser Larsen is now on his way from Bergen to Spitsbergen in a seaplane that will be used to search for the Italia's crew. He will meet with Lieutenant Luetzow-Holm in King's Bay, which the two experienced pilots will use as a base for the operation. Meanwhile Captain Roald Amundsen has revealed in an interview that he will await the result of Captain Larsen's reconnaissance flights before embarking on a rescue mission himself. He emphasises that he will be available at short notice.

The Swedish government has granted permission to equip three seaplanes that should also fly north in search for Nobile and his team. There is news of Russian assistance on the way. And the veteran polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen is being consulted about possible rescue strategies. Never before has so complex a rescue mission been contemplated. Even the most experienced polar aviators have little experience of actually landing a plane on pack ice. The challenges are formidable.

Meanwhile, the members of the Nobile group stranded on the pack-ice are making themselves more comfortable. The skin of the polar bear, shot on 29 May, brings some warmth. A radio transmitter has been repaired, but functions only weakly.

Adalberto Mariano, Filippo Zappi and Finn Malmgren are now in the third day of their long walk south from the crash site, making slow progress, and hoping that eventually they will reach a trapper community or other outpost that can offer help.

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