Hopedale couple grateful for rescue after snowmobile goes through ice

Manna Tuglavina and his wife Sarah are counting their blessings after their snowmobile broke through the ice at Big Bay Brook on Monday.

A couple from Hopedale is counting their blessings, after their snowmobile fell through the ice on a fishing trip Monday.

Mannaandreas Tuglavina and his wife Sarah left the community around 3:30 p.m., en route for Big Bay Brook, which is located about 50 kilometres from Hopedale.     

Tuglavina said when they reached the mouth of the brook, their snowmobile suddenly went through the ice. 

"Didn't know what [I was] thinking ... happened too fast. The whole Ski-doo went down — just like the way it was too," Tuglavina told the CBC's John Gaudi. 

Sarah and Mannaandreas Tuglavina on their snowmobile two years ago, on Big Bay Brook. The Tuglavinas went on a fishing trip earlier this week, when their machine plummeted through the ice. (Courtesy Mannaandreas Tuglavina )
"Well right away we had to light a fire, we were wet almost to our waist. It wasn't cold-cold, but cold enough to get on your nerves. So we dried our boots and that, and then we started to walk home. The walk wasn't very good ... the snow and that was soft. We had aching muscles, and we was tender by the time we got home."

Around midnight on Tuesday, after walking for nearly seven and a half hours, Tuglavina said it was a big relief to see two searchers heading toward them on snowmobile. 

"It was hard to describe, I was glad they was coming. As soon as we saw the lights we got right happy."

Tuglavina and his wife got on back of the snow machines and made the trek back to Hopedale.

He said he's thankful search and rescue is a priority in Labrador this time of year, when ice conditions start to deteriorate.

Tuglavina has some advice for anyone planning on taking a snowmobile out this time of year onto the ice: "You gotta watch where you're going. Know the terrain. Having supplies is number one priority. Know where you're going and tell people where you're going."