Coast Guard rescues 2 passengers of sinking sailboat stranded on ice floe

'No injuries to the passengers have been reported, and they are in excellent condition,' says a Coast Guard spokesperson.

'No injuries to the passengers have been reported,' says Coast Guard spokesperson

The Canadian Coast Guard rescued two passengers of a sinking sailboat who were trapped on an ice floe in Arctic waters early Wednesday morning. The incident took place in Bellot Strait. (CBC)

The Canadian Coast Guard rescued two passengers of a sinking sailboat who were trapped on an ice floe in Arctic waters early Wednesday morning.

Lauren Solski, director of communications for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, said in an email to CBC News that Iqaluit Marine Communications and Traffic Services reported to the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Trenton, Ont., that an 11-metre-long sailing vessel, Anahita, was sinking.

The vessel's emergency beacon was activated and two passengers "were on an ice floe and equipped with water, food, warm clothes and a life raft."

No injuries to the passengers have been reported, and they are in excellent condition.- Lauren Solski, coast guard spokesperson

JRCC Trenton deployed a Hercules aircraft and the icebreaker CCGS Henry Larsen to the scene. A shipping vessel was also en route to assist the stranded passengers, but its arrival was delayed due to ice conditions.

The icebreaker's helicopter picked up the two passengers, and as of Wednesday afternoon they were on board the ship, which is heading to the High Arctic community of Resolute, Nunavut.

"No injuries to the passengers have been reported, and they are in excellent condition," Solski's email said.

The incident took place in Bellot Strait. Resolute is a hamlet of about 200 people on Cornwallis Island in the middle of the Northwest Passage.

It's been a busy week for the Canadian Coast Guard in Arctic waters. On Tuesday, two hunters were rescued on an island near Naujaat, Nunavut. The men had been attacked by polar bears, and a third hunter had been killed. The survivors were spotted by a search helicopter from the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis St-Laurent.

On Friday, a passenger ship also ran aground near Kugaaruk, Nunavut, with 162 people on board. Two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers were deployed to the Akademik Ioffe. People on board were eventually moved to the vessel's sister ship.

"The Canadian Coast Guard advises anyone considering adventure trips to the Arctic to be prepared with emergency plans and equipment due to the rapidly changing weather and ice conditions," Solski's email said.