Tourists stranded on Arctic ice floe get supply air drop
Hunters who were stranded on nearby ice floe have made it back to shore
The Canadian Forces have dropped off emergency supplies to tourists stranded on an ice floe drifting in Admiralty Inlet near Arctic Bay, Nunavut.
A Hercules aircraft from Winnipeg arrived at the scene where about 20 people with the adventure group Arctic Kingdom are stranded.
"They've been able to locate the area and the folks that are stranded on the ice floe, and they've been able to drop survival rescue kits, which include large life-rafts as well as other survival equipment," said Maj. Steve Neta, with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Neta said a second Hercules aircraft from Trenton, Ont., is on the way with more rescue and survival equipment.
The group will likely be stranded there until Wednesday morning since rescue helicopters must travel a long distance to reach them.
The floe supporting the local guides and Canadian and foreign tourists is 50 kilometres long.
A group of 11 hunters who were stranded on another floe nearby have made it back to shore at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. They managed to cross over onto land after the floe split and their section floated close to shore.
They're located about 60 kilometres east of Arctic Bay and are waiting for a helicopter to pick them up.
"The hunters that are on land will be picked up later on this evening. They are on fairly flat lands and they're not by cliffs, so it shouldn't be any problem picking up the hunters," said Niore Iqalukjuak, the local search and rescue co-ordinator in Arctic Bay.
Neta said two Griffon helicopters are trying to make it down from Eureka on Ellesmere Island, but weather has been a challenge.
A Cormorant aircraft from Gander, N.L., will arrive in the early morning hours to help with the rescue.
No reported injuries
At 7 a.m. local time, the RCMP got word of 30 people stranded on ice floes off Baffin Island about 40 kilometres from Arctic Bay. The hunters and the tourists and their guides were on separate floes.
No one was reported to be injured.
Earlier Tuesday, Iqalukjuak said the tourists were located a bit closer to shore than the hunters.
The floe with the tourists had drifted about 12 kilometres offshore, Iqalukjuak said.
Rescue efforts are continuing with help from Nunavut Protection Services, the local Arctic Bay search and rescue organization, Joint Task Force North from Iqaluit and the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Trenton.
As of 3 p.m. local time, weather in Arctic Bay was cloudy and 7 C, with visibility at 13 kilometres. The forecast is for showers ending late this evening.