An Air Force search and rescue helicopter airlifted a group of hunters back to Coral Harbour, Nunavut, this morning after they spent two days on an ice floe. 

The eight men were picked up 55 kilometres south of the community, about 27 kilometres from the nearest shoreline. 

Coral Harbour Ice Floe from bugmasher on Vimeo.

Maj. Steve Neta, a public affairs officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force, credits the group's planning for helping with the rescue. He said they had a SPOT beacon, which helped transmit their location, and were prepared for the cold weather. 

"The fact that these gentleman were prepared to be out in the elements had a real big impact on a positive outcome here," he said.

The group became stranded Friday. Neta says initially the ice floe was about two kilometres from land and a local rescue organization tried to reach the group.

hi-coral_harbour-map

The group was located about 27 kilometres from the shoreline, about 55 kilometres south of Coral Habour, Nunavut.

But then it began drifting farther than they could handle. On Saturday, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre sent a Hercules from Winnipeg to deliver radios and survival equipment to the group yesterday evening. 

"They got overhead and were able to drop a lot of essential equipment just as a precautionary measure," said Neta. "Basically, a big toboggan that's packed with food, water, tents and other survival gear as well as a couple life rafts just in case the ice floe were to break up." 

On Sunday the Cormorant helicopter from Greenwood, N.S. arrived at approximately 10 a.m. ET. It was unable to land on the ice so the men were hoisted aboard.  

Neta says it's his understanding they are doing well.