Missing man, boy found near Nunavut community after searchers 'saw a light'

The man and the boy were found walking towards Hall Beach, Nunavut after search and rescue teams spent four days out on the land looking for them.

'Now we are in a warm place,' says Mark Qulitalik, 13

Mark Qulitalik, centre, and his cousin Paul Sr. Qulitalik, right, were reported missing after they left Igloolik for Hall Beach, Nunavut on Nov. 19. (Submitted by Juuta Sarpinak)

A man and boy who went missing while travelling from Igloolik to Hall Beach, Nunavut have been found safe, after being lost on the land for more than four days.

Paul Sr. Quliktalik and Mark Qulitalik, 13, set out on the approximately 70-kilometre journey shortly after 10 p.m. ET on Sunday. The communities were experiencing blizzard-like conditions over the weekend.

The two, who are cousins, were spotted walking towards Hall Beach late Thursday night, according to Igloolik Mayor Celestino Uyarak.

"We ran out of gas," the younger Qulitalik told CBC News via Facebook. He was reunited with family and community members in Igloolik early Friday morning.

"Thank God we were found alive and OK," he said, in Inuktitut. "I want to thank the searchers. Now we are in a warm place." 

Qulitalik, left in black, says the two ran out of gas for their snowmobile, seen in this photo. (Submitted by Juuta Sarpinak)

Search and rescue 'saw a light'

The Qulitaliks were found just a few kilometres west of Hall Beach, said Uyarak. 

"Spotters were travelling and they saw a light… and they went to investigate," said Uyarak.

The light was from the travellers' flashlight.

Rescue teams discovered that the cousins had no food, water or supplies with them. 

"They probably had snow [to eat]," said Uyarak.

The older of the two, who is in his 20s, is being treated for frostbite while the teen seemed to be uninjured, said Uyarak.

The mayor said the communities are relieved and elated to have found them. 

"Everyone is waking up to this good news!" said Uyarak. 

He said there were tears at the hamlet office Friday morning. 

"We were very happy, although we were all men in the hamlet office this morning, we were crying, [there was] laughter."

With files from Kieran Oudshoorn, Pauline Pemik