A pilot who survived 31 days in the Arctic after a November 1972 plane crash died Tuesday.

Marten Hartwell, the sole survivor of the crash to be rescued, was 88.

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Pilot Marten Hartwell survived 31 days in the Arctic after a November 1972 plane crash. He died Tuesday at the age of 88. (CBC)

Hartwell was piloting a medevac plane in the Northwest Territories from Cambridge Bay to Yellowknife carrying a nurse and two patients when it crashed near Hottah Lake, south of Great Bear Lake, about 300 kilometres north of Yellowknife.

Two of the three passengers died of injuries sustained in the crash.

Hartwell and 14-year-old David Kootook survived, enduring temperatures close to -40 while waiting to be rescued.

Hartwell suffered broken bones and said the boy helped keep him alive by building a fire and shelter. Hartwell resorted to eating flesh from one of the dead passengers, but said Kootook abstained.

Kootook died about a week before help arrived.

Hartwell’s story was immortalized in a song by Stompin' Tom Connors called the "The Marten Hartwell Story."