Knut Magne Haugland, 92, last Kon-Tiki crew member

Associated Press / December 27, 2009

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OSLO - A museum official says Knut Magne Haugland, the last of six crew members who crossed the Pacific Ocean on board the balsa wood and bamboo raft Kon-Tiki, has died. He was 92.

Maja Bauge, Kon-Tiki Museum director, said yesterday that the former Norwegian resistance fighter and explorer died of natural causes Friday in an Oslo hospital.

Mr. Haugland, decorated by the British during World War II for helping prevent the German nuclear program from getting heavy water to make weapons, joined Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl’s expedition in 1947 as a radio operator.

The Kon-Tiki team sailed the raft with basic equipment 4,900 miles from Peru to Polynesia in 101 days to prove Heyerdahl’s theory that ancient mariners may have migrated across ocean stretches.