Rodney Marks

From a message by Bill Coughran, the NSF manager at McMurdo (sent Saturday 13 May 2000):

"Our colleague who died at South Pole was Rodney Marks, 32, an Australian citizen wintering to operate the ASTRO submillimeter telescope at Pole. He died at 18:40 Friday night. This was Rodney's second winter at Pole (97-98). Rodney's employer was the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA), based in Chicago.

"It appears that Rodney died of natural causes, although it is not possible to establish a specific cause of death without conducting an autopsy, which may not occur until after the station opens in late October.

"Rodney's next of kin, his mother, has been notified.

"There is no plan to fly to South Pole to evacuate Rodney's remains. The extremely cold temperatures at South Pole during the winter render it prohibitively dangerous and risks to flight crews too great to permit flights into the station. The body will be kept at South Pole until the first flight of the 2000-2001 season, which traditionally takes place in late October or early November depending on temperature considerations."

Two brief news articles...from the Melbourne, Australia, newspaper The Age (archive article): 15 May, and a 17 May New York Times article. Rodney was from Geelong which is 35 miles SW of Melbourne.

Also of relevance is the 7-14 May 2000 diary entry by the other Australian winterover and friend Darryn Schneider.