A worker missing from Agnico-Eagle’s Meliadine camp near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, was found alive late Thursday night, after weathering a potentially record-breaking blizzard.
Michel Pilon was found safe at about 10:30 p.m. near the Meliadine site, after spending more than two days lost in blizzard conditions.
"I'm told his training and survival skills for the North really paid off, and he was able to weather the heaviest part of the storm quite well," said Dale Coffin, spokesperson for Agnico-Eagle.
"Now we're waiting for more details on exactly what happened. We’ll be able to have a better understanding as the day goes on."
The Timmins, Ont., man was working at the Meliadine mine site 25 kilometres from Rankin Inlet, when he went missing on Tuesday morning. He was travelling by snowmobile to a drill site, south of the Meliadine camp.
He was taken to Rankin Inlet for medical observation.
Pilon is a drill worker for Boart Longyear, a sub-contractor for Agnico-Eagle.
Pilon’s wife Julie said she was worried all that time, but knew somehow her husband would be OK.
"He's a survivor, he's trained, he knows what he's going to do," she said. "He knows what he needs to do. As long as he's not injured, I knew he was going to be OK."
Pilon said her husband made a temporary shelter out of snow and also used his snowmobile foam for insulation.
She said that on Thursday he heard snowmobiles and went after them, then his machine broke down.
He started walking along a trail and was found by searchers on snowmobiles.
Coffin commended the Rankin Inlet Search and Rescue group.
"It was great to have the support of the community as well," he said. "Their team was out last night fully equipped. They were doing the search from Rankin Inlet to the camp and we had excellent support throughout the region."
Pilon planned to fly back to Timmins Friday where he'll reunite with his wife and five children.
Environment Canada said the accumulated snowfall during the blizzard may have broken records for the area, with close to a year’s worth of snow falling over three days.