Icebreaker to rescue stranded Nunavut caribou hunters
Group has been trapped on Coats Island due to ice
The Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Pierre Radisson is travelling to Coats Island this morning where nine people are awaiting help.
Capt. Jean Houde, with CFB Trenton, said a Hercules aircraft spotted the group in two boats Sunday and managed to drop a radio to communicate with them.
"From the air, they explained to the people in the boats that they were pretty much surrounded by the ice, but there seemed to be one channel available to return on land to Coats Island, which is where they had just left from."
The nine people travelling in two 24-foot aluminum boats had been caribou hunting. They left Coral Harbour but they may not be from that community.
The group spent a week on Coats Island waiting out poor weather.
On Saturday, they decided to try to get home in spite of the danger of ice. But that's when their satellite phone ran out of power.
Two hours after leaving the island, they sent a help signal from a Spot device. The group returned safely to the island last night, guided by rescuers in a Hercules plane. The same plane dropped more supplies to help them last another night.
The Pierre Radisson is expected to arrive around 9 a.m. local time Monday.
The Coast Guard will then decide whether to clear a path for the boat, give the hunters some fuel, or to take them on board.
The icebreaker was 24 hours away when the Spot signal initially went out.