- Willis Resilience TV captures Parker and expedition partner, Doug Stoup leaving the
Ross Ice Shelf in a live visual broadcast from Antarctica
• 19-year-old Parker Liautaud leaves the Ross Ice Shelf in an attempt to set a new
World Record for the fastest-ever walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole
• Watch the journey unfold at www.willisresilience.com
LONDON, Dec. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It's taken nearly two years of preparation and planning but this morning, Friday 6 December 2013, 19 year old explorer Parker Liautaud, a sophomore at Yale University along with his expedition partner, Doug Stoup, departed the Ross Ice Shelf in an attempt to set a new World Record for the fastest-ever walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. Parker will become the youngest person to ever reach both the North and South Poles on foot. The pair is attempting to make the 640km journey in 22 days, each pulling a sled weighing over 80kg.
With the assistance of never-used-before technology, Parker and Doug's departure from the Ross Ice Shelf was caught live on camera this morning and aired on the Willis Resilience TV Show. You can catch the moment on http://www.willisresilience.com/mission-control/live-feed/ when you reach 3 minutes 25 seconds on this link.
While Parker and veteran explorer Doug Stoup will make their planned 400-mile trek on foot and unsupported, their progress will be tracked every step of the way by a 2.6 ton custom designed 6x6 Toyota Hilux truck, the "Ice Broker," capable of transmitting, via satellite, live video, telemetry, data and biometrics around the world via the expedition Website, www.willisresilience.com. News of the expedition, and related programming, will be broadcast on a daily one-hour television show hosted on the website which premiered on December 2. As of today, 16 separate one-hour shows are planned through until December 23.
"It is extraordinary to think that after all the careful planning and preparation we have finally started our journey to the South Pole on foot. 640km is all that stands between us, the South Pole and a new World Record. Thank you to Willis for their belief in Doug and myself and I look forward to speaking to you all, hopefully just before New Year, from the South Pole. Please follow our journey online at www.willisresilience.com"
- Parker Liautaud, Willis Resilience Expedition Leader
Before starting this incredible journey, Parker, Doug and their support crew; the Ice Broker Driver and Mechanic Eyjo Furteitsson, cinematography, Paddy Scott and communications director, Nathan Hambrook-Skinner, travelled in Ice Broker from Union Glacier to the South Pole down to the Ross Ice Shelf in order to undertake a coast-to-pole-to-coast transect of Antarctica.
The team were collecting snow samples for three scientific research programs, all of which aim to collect valuable data to contribute to our understanding of global climate patterns. One of the team's first jobs on the ice was to deploy the ColdFacts 3000BX, a lightweight weather station which has not been used before in Antarctica. The device has been relaying metrological data every 30 minutes. Along the way the team was also collecting snow samples for research purposes.
"This is an exciting day for us all here at the Willis Resilience Expedition and we look forward to following Parker and Doug in their every step as they make their journey to the South Pole. More people summit Mount Everest every year than have ever touched the South Pole in human history, and yet conditions there can advance our ability to build greater resilience for a risky world. We are proud to enable Parker to conduct his important research and share his unfolding journey, day-by-day, with those on every continent whose lives, businesses and organizations are affected by these issues and who are fascinated by the extraordinary human endeavor Parker is undertaking."
- Josh King, Chief Communications Officer, Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH)
Viewers around the world can watch the Willis Resilience Expedition unfold 24/7 on the expedition website www.willisresilience.com. On December 2, the Willis Resilience Expedition started broadcasting a live one hour TV show at 8.30am GMT every day from the Willis building in London. The daily shows will continue to feature a live update from the team in Antarctica as well as interviews with guest panelists on issues of Antarctic exploration and climate change.
Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 17,500 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world's leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website, www.willis.com, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world.
An unsupported expedition: The Willis Resilience Expedition will have a vehicle tracking the explorers; however, the team in the truck will provide no support to Parker along the way. The vehicle is tracking the team to provide 'round the clock footage and imagery along the way and will not carry any equipment for Parker.