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Friday 21 October 2016

Granddaughter of Irish explorer Tom Crean breaks leg on glacier while trying to retrace his steps

Amy Molloy

Published 17/10/2016 | 13:32

Aileen on Carrantuohill Photo: Facebook
Aileen on Carrantuohill Photo: Facebook

The granddaughter of famous Irish explorer Tom Crean has suffered a leg break on the glacier named after her grandfather.

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Aileen Crean-O’Brien embarked on a journey to South Georgia in September to recreate one of Tom Crean’s most famous feats – the “Endurance” expedition.

She left her Kenmare residence on September 21, along with her two sons and partner, and was due to return to the Kerry town on November 1, having retraced her grandfather’s steps.

However, when the team were on their way to Crean Glacier, she sustained a shattered knee and ankle, and a fractured lower leg.

Team Tom Crean Photo: Facebook
Team Tom Crean Photo: Facebook

According to the team’s Facebook page, she will be transferred to the Falklands by boat today where she can receive further medical treatment.

“GOOD NEWS - The other evening the Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Clyde arrived at Grytviken. They have kindly agreed to our request for assistance and today we will transfer Aileen over to them. It will still be a rough passage but she will be in a sick bay with a medico in attendance,” the post read.

Describing the ordeal, the team’s Facebook page hailed Aileen as a “tough cookie”.

“Aileen was brilliant, not a moan all day. Priority is to stabilise Aileen prior to the sail back to the Falklands, Skipper Alec thinks it could be a "tea and toast run". There's a gale sweeping down at the moment so we need to let it pass; looks like we start out on Monday. Keep us in your prayers.”

One-hundred years ago, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed on the rocky isle of South Georgia in May 1916.

They trekked 26 miles across the island’s tough landscape to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind after their ship – the Endurance – was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

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