Stubborn Kiwi beats Arctic storm

  1. I just talked to Kathy, the wife of this fellow in the article. She was in town for a couple of days while her husband recuperates in a hospital in California.

    Stubborn Kiwi beats Arctic storm

    Desperate to return home to his wife, a Kiwi endured freezing winds and driving snow for three days in an Arctic whiteout that claimed both his feet and a hand.

    Joseph Gibbon, 39, a contractor for the United States Government, became lost while working near Summit Camp at the highest point of Greenland's ice cap.

    He was racing to get back to base before a storm broke on April 15, but a faulty fuel gauge meant his skidoo ran out of petrol about five kilometres from safety.

    And as he hunkered down, without survival gear in high winds and temperatures of minus 40 degrees celsius, he willed himself to survive the harsh conditions with thoughts of his wife Kathy Blumm and family in New Zealand.

    And as the weather cleared, he forced himself onto his badly frostbitten feet when he spotted a plane. Colleagues found him soon after, trying to make his way back to the camp.

    Mr Gibbon, from Karamea, on the West Coast, said: "I made a decision to be pig-headed. I wanted to see my wife again, and I wanted to see my folks again and come home. You make that crucial decision and have the will to make it through."
    She says that both legs have been amputated below the knee and that he has lost one arm. He is is good spirits.
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   Joe V
    it's amazing what people can do when they have the will

    thank you for sharing - beautiful story
  4. by   Grace Oz
    We're bred tough down here in the southern hemisphere!

    So glad he survived and wish him and his loved ones all the very best.