Explorers, or boys messing
about? Either way, taxpayer gets
Helicopter duo plucked from life-raft after
Their last expedition ended in farce when the Russians
threatened to send in military planes to intercept them as
they tried to cross into Siberia via the icebound Bering
Yesterday a new adventure undertaken by British
explorers Steve Brooks and Quentin Smith almost led to
tragedy when their helicopter plunged into the sea off
The men were plucked from the icy waters by a Chilean
naval ship after a nine-hour rescue which began when Mr
Brooks contacted his wife, Jo Vestey, on his satellite
phone asking for assistance. The rescue involved the
Royal Navy, the RAF and British Coastguards.
Last night there was resentment in some quarters that the
men’s adventure had cost the taxpayers of Britain and
Chile tens of thousands of pounds.
Experts questioned the wisdom of taking a small
helicopter – the four-seater Robinson R44 has a single
engine – into such a hostile environment.
There was also confusion about what exactly the men
were trying to achieve. A website set up to promote the
Bering Strait expedition claims the team were trying to fly
from North to South Pole in their “trusty helicopter”.
But Ms Vestey claimed she did not know what the pair
were up to, describing them as “boys messing around with
The drama began at around 1am British time when Mr
Brooks, 42, and 40-year-old Mr Smith, also known as Q,
ditched into the sea 100 miles off Antarctica, about 36
miles off Smith Island, and scrambled into their life-raft.
Mr Brooks called his wife in London on his satellite phone.
She said: “He said they were both in the life-raft but were okay and could I call the emergency people.”
Meanwhile, distress signals were being beamed from the
ditched helicopter and from Mr Brooks’ Breitling
emergency watch, a wedding present.
Comment [s1]: Contrasted to ridicule the men as they aren’t successful “explorers” instead they are immature boys.
Comment [s2]: Think about what they have asked in pause.
Comment [s3]: The cost goes to you (the taxpayer) due to their behaviour. Comment [s4]: Harsh consonants used to show excitement. Ridicules as the men seem insignificant.
Comment [s5]: Dramatic word used in the short catchy introduction. Comment [s6]: This is used to ridicule them as their previous expeditions seem like a joke.
Comment [s7]: The “Russians” seem grand in comparison to “farce” which further emphasises their insignificance.
Comment [s8]: Said with a childish tone to mock the explorers as they aren’t serious about expedition.
Comment [s9]: Dramatic and adventurous
Comment [s10]: The men are insignificant (above).
Comment [s11]: Huge impact on another country emphasises cost Comment [s12]: Long wait emphasised by the long paragraph which leads to tension.
Comment [s13]: Weakness similar to a child calling for their mother for help. Comment [s14]: Triad of services needed to save them emphasises need for help. Comment [s15]: Undefined group exaggerates the “resentment”. Comment [s16]: Both countries have been affected and costs money. Outrages the reader.
Comment [s17]: Vast sum emphasises the stupidity of men and the cost. Comment [s18]: Undefined experts asserts knowledge and makes the men appear even more foolish.
Comment [s19]: Knowledge indicates that the men were unprepared for the expedition.
Comment [s20]: Dramatic and serious as well as very dangerous. Contrasts to the men’s laidback approach.
Comment [s21]: Unknown aims
Comment [s22]: Pessimistic tone suggests that this is not the case. Comment [s23]: Childish dream that has failed as they were “trying” but were unsuccessful.
Comment [s24]: Irony as the helicopter turned out not to work. This undermines the men.
Comment [s25]: Tone of parent describing children showing that the men weren’t serious.
Comment [s26]: The men aren’t serious about achieving...
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