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The Gisborne Photo News



Adventure in the Antarctic

Not many young fellows from Gisborne have managed to pack into their post-school years as much adventure as Peter Rule, son of Mr and Mrs S. H. Rule, Townley Street.

In the first issue of "Gisborne Photo News" ever published, back in 1954, he is featured at the conclusion of an air trip from England.

Last January Peter hit the headlines again when his plane was forced down in the vast white waste of Antarctica. His survival and rescue, extending over two weeks or more, made exciting reading for his Gisborne family and friends.

There were two men in the plane, a Beaver aircraft of the RNZAF Antarctic Flight, when it was forced down near the Beardmore Glacier, about 400 miles from Scott Base.

They were Flight Lieutenant Rule and Squadron Leader L. C. Jeffs, of Christchurch, officer commanding the flight. They are seen at left beside the crashed Beaver.

The men dug a deep trench in which to put up their tent. In due course an Auster piloted by Fl. Lieut. I. Cransfield landed on the spot and took the Gisborne pilot out to Beardmore depot. But the fog closed in before a landing could be made, and the Auster had to go back to rejoin the Beaver. It. got down to safety with only a few minutes to spare as visibility was lost.


The tent in the snow


Messrs Jeffs and Rule


Fl. Lieut. Rule climbs into plane wearing Antarctic clothing.


In due course the men were evacuated, but not before Mr Rule had spent a week at the scene of the crash, and another ten days at Beardmore depot waiting for an American plane to pick him up.


Peter Rule preparing meal in snowy kitchen


Another view of the wrecked plane. Occupants were lucky to survive.


Relief Auster arrives at the scene


Flight-Lieutenant Rule photographed in Gisborne last week. In this picture he is holding a patent American hot-water bottle of a chemical variety. The smaller articles are some of the concentrated rations on which the men lived in their glacier camp.