The head of Bulgaria’s 24th Antarctic expedition, Professor Hristo Pimpirev, was evacuated from the Bulgarian base after falling ill, Bulgarian National Television reported on January 17.
The day before, part of the Bulgarian expedition had travelled on the ship Hesperides to King George Island, after travelling by inflatable boat through a snowstorm.
The report said that while the group of Bulgarians was being transferred to the Spanish base Juan Carlos I, the state of Pimpirev, who had had a cold, deteriorated “within minutes”.
A Spanish doctor was summoned, who had difficulty reaching the point because travel by sea was rendered impossible by huge waves. The journey was made by climbing from the Spanish base, accompanied by an experienced mountaineer, and travelling by two Bulgarian sleds.
Pimpirev was diagnosed with viral pneumonia and his transfer to the Chilean city of Punta Arenas was ordered, where he will undergo further tests, BNT said.
Pimpirev first visited the south polar region in 2013, as Bulgaria’s first official representative. Pimpirev Glacier and Pimpirev Beach on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, are named after him.
(Archive photo of Pimpirev, taken in 2013: Iglikat)