RCMP: Dutch arctic explorers likely drowned

Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo (Picture: Cold Facts)Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo (Picture: Cold Facts)

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has confirmed that both Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo are presumed drowned. A recovery operation is underway to find the bodies of the two arctic explorers, Canadian newspaper CBC news reports.

Marc and Philip were on a two-month scientific research study in Canada for the organization Cold Facts. On Thursday morning the base in the Netherlands received an automated message for an urgent pickup. The pickup operation was organized immediately, but the pilot was unable to land due to thin ice.

The subsequent search and rescue operation only spotted the dog traveling with the two researchers and a sled on the ice and another in the water. There was no sign of Marc and Philip.

In a voice recording that Marc posted on line on Tuesday he said: "Today was a good day." He described the weather as being too warm. "We think we see thin ice in front of us, which is quite interesting." he said. "And we're going to research some more of that if we can."

The likely death of the two experienced polar explorers is extremely cynical, especially since Marc has been warning of the effects of global warming and the ever faster melting North Pole for years. "And so we get more extreme weather, more floods, an unpredictable climate. The earth will not perish, but we make it increasingly difficult to live here", he said. Ans now he himself is likely the victim of melting ice.

Wilco van Rooijen, contact person and a good friend of the the two friends, believes that the most likely scenario is that they fell through the ice. "The most likely is that one of the two fell through the ice. The other then turned to help, but went through the ice himself." he said to the AD. He spoke to Marc the day before they disappeared. "He was worried about the situation in Nepal. But he also told me that the weather was too hot. Therefore the conditions were bad. That ice is is unreliable, they know. But this year was extremely bad. There was a lot of open water."