A search for an elder from Baker Lake, Nunavut, who fell off a sled has been called off.

Searchers spent the last two weeks looking for Alvin Qanaaq, 72. He was traveling back from Rankin Inlet when he reportedly fell off the qamotik, or traditional sled, being towed by his grandson.

Richard Aksawnee, the chair of the Baker Lake Search Committee, said as soon as the grandson realized what happened, he began searching.


The elder, from Baker Lake, Nunavut, fell off the sled being towed by his grandson somewhere between Baker Lake and Rankin Inlet two weeks ago. (Google)

"He searched for his grandfather as much as he could but, due to his gas - he was running out of gas - that's when he made the decision to start coming to Baker Lake," he said.

About 20 to 30 ground searchers traveled as far as 145 kilometres from Baker Lake with no luck.

Aksawnee said the weather was a challenge.

"I think they travelled all night long. They started fairly early in the morning, I guess fatigue got to them and the story we got was that it was like snow drifting on the ice, but you still could see quite a far distance. But, as the night went on, the winds started picking up so the snow was starting to pick up even more," he said.

An aerial search also turned up no sign of the elder.

Aksawnee said elders advised the search committee to call it off this past weekend, as fatigue was taking a toll on the volunteers - some were going days without sleep.

Aksawnee said the search will resume next month when there is less snow.