Exactly one week has passed since the 67-year-old mayor of Kimmirut, Nunavut, failed to return from a caribou hunt.

Search and rescue crews, who continue to search for Mayor Jamesie Kootoo, had their hopes renewed Thursday after aerial spotters saw a flickering light in the darkness.

Maliktoo Lyta, with the search and rescue committee trying to find Kootoo, said spotters from Iqaluit saw the dim light for a few short seconds, and on their way back to Kimmirut they saw the light again.

The experienced outdoorsman has survived perilous situations before — but this time he may have insufficient survival equipment with him.

He left for the hunt last Saturday, and was due to return the same day.

Earlier this week searchers found a trail of snowmobile tracks, which they thought belonged to Kootoo, but later lost it amid the falling snow.

Blizzard conditions have hampered efforts on most search days, and the RCMP said Thursday was the first clear day since the search began.

Roughly  30 volunteers, including five people from Iqaluit, are taking part in the efforts. 

Volunteer spotters from Civil Air Search and Rescue Association are flying on a Twin Otter. Some searchers continue to stay at a base camp near Qurvik Lake, close to where Kootoo was last seen.

On Friday, officials said there's still hope on finding the mayor in good condition.

Injured Kootoo pulled from ravine in 2008

This is not the first time Kootoo has needed help from search and rescue teams.

Before becoming mayor, Kootoo was pulled from a ravine after spending 18 hours in sub-zero temperatures in the aftermath of a March 2008 snowmobile accident.

A ranger at the time, Sgt. Jamesie Kootoo had been injured while helping patrol the Qimualaniq Quest sled dog race on southern Baffin Island.

The team found the then 64-year-old at the bottom of a ravine, bleeding internally and unable to move or even reach for his satellite phone because his pelvis was broken.

An official told CBC News that Kootoo survived the ordeal thanks to his experience on the land and because he was dressed for the weather.