JBS on the Bolivian Amazonas
COLONEL Blashford-Snell (right) or JBS as he has become known, is no stranger to danger.
He has led and organised more than 100 expeditions during his exceptional career and has overcome many hardships to accomplish scientific, medical and environmental objectives.
In recognition of his work he has received several awards — the famous Seagrave Trophy for navigating the 2,700 miles of the Zaire River, the Livingstone Medal for his leadership during expeditions to the Blue Nile, British Trans-Americas and Zaire River plus a Patron's Medal from the Royal Geographical Society and a Gold Medal from the Royal Engineers.
His career as an explorer started when the British Army was asked by Ethiopia's Haile Selassie to explore the Blue Nile in 1968. JBS, who was a captain in the Royal Engineers, was commissioned to lead the 60-strong party and his success led to further more testing ventures.
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He pioneered a way of negotiating white water with inflatable boats, which led to the modern worldwide sport, and has helped hundreds of under-privileged young people by supporting and setting up charities such as Operation Drake, The Fairbridge Drake Society, Operation Raleigh, and Discovery Expeditions.
They all involve scientific work linked to exploration but there are others dedicated to helping out-of-work youngsters.
He and his colleagues also formed the Scientific Exploration Society with the aim to 'foster and encourage scientific exploration worldwide.'
JBS's event starts at 6pm on October 3 and he will focus on his latest and perhaps most ambitious expedition to date, a trip to the Bolivian Amazonas where he is at present surveying a meteorite crater and looking for lost civilisations.
Heavy rain is hampering his work but he will return in late September in time for the Appledore Book Festival.
He said: "The title of my talk will be On a Wing and Prayer, the story of Kota Mama VI expedition which investigates a meteorite strike in a remoter part of Bolivia Amazonas."
JBS has even found time to write 13 books and become a media personality.